GROWTH HABIT: Winter annual, erect to 3 feet tall.
LEAVES: Rosette leaf margins smooth to slightly toothed, cotyledons have a red to purple medrib. Mature plant leaves alternate, attached directly to stems, deeply lobed or dissected with margins containing short stiff spines.
STEMS: Stiff, terminating in one to several flowering branches.
FLOWER: 1 to 5 heads per branch, narrow, cylindrical, pink, lavender or purple. Flower in June and July.
SEEDS: Oblong with a ring of dark stiff bristles encircling the broad end of the seed.
OTHER: Found in rangeland and disturbed non-crop areas.