spiny plumeless thistle
Scientific NameCarduus acanthoides
Other Common Names:
Upright, growing from a taproot
Leaves are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant and alternate going up the stem. Leaf margins are serrate or pinnately lobed and leaves can be 4 to 8 in long and up to 3 in wide. Leaves are typically smooth on the underside.
This species is marked by spiny, winged stems. Overall, it is similar to musk thistle but typically differs in having smaller leaves and flowers and has an erect, winged peduncle.
Flower Seed Head
Flowers can be about an inch in diameter and exist alone at the end of a straight peduncle. Spiny bracts and a receptacle that is close to half the length of the flower characterize this species.
Achenes are flat ovals with a long pappus.
This is common in disturbed areas like fields, roadsides, stream banks, and pastures.
upright and nonwoody
Thorns or Spines
Approximate Flower Diameter
Dominant Flower Color
Stem Cross Section
round or oval