GROWTH HABIT: Biennial, erect, many spreading branches. Rosette formed first year, flowering stem elongates second year.
LEAVES: Green, sparsely hairy, with short appressed prickles on the surface, cottony below. Sharp spines on the margins.
STEMS: Stout, 2 ft. To 5 ft. tall with spiny wings from leaves.
FLOWER: Terminal, more or less clustered, 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide, flowers dark purple, bracts spine tipped.
ROOTS: Short fleshy taproot.
SEEDS: Straw colored, striped lengthwise with brown or black, a protrusion at one end.
OTHER: Reproduce by seed only.