GROWTH HABIT: Biennial, sometimes annual, erect, up to 8 ft. Tall. Rosette formed first year, flowering stem elongates second year.
LEAVES: Dark green with a light midrib, hair only on the underside, leaf margin with sharp spines.
STEMS: To 4 ft. Tall, erect, winged to flowering heads.
FLOWERS: Solitary, terminal or clusters of 2 to 5. Narrow seedhead bracts spine tipped. Reddish-purple blooms ½ to 1 inch diameter.
ROOTS: Stout, fleshy taproot.
SEEDS: Striped lengthwise, slightly curved, with a protrusion at one end.
OTHER: Reproduce by seed only.