GROWTH HABIT: Biennial, or winter annual, erect up to 7' tall. Freely branching. Rosette formed 1st year, flowering stem elongates 2nd year.
LEAVES: Dark green with light midrib, hairless on both sides, long sharp spines.
FLOWER: Solitary, terminal, nodding heads, 1-1/2" to 3" in diameter, deep rose to violet to purple.
ROOTS: Fleshy taproot, hollow near ground surface.
SEEDS: Can be in excess of 20,000 per plant with 90 percent viable. 90 percent may germinate in first two years. Seeds may germinate after 10 years in soil.
OTHER: Reproduce by seed only.