Flower. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Plant. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Flowering plant. Photographer Sciadopitys, England

Immature plant. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Rosette. Photographer Malcolm Storey, England

Common Name

Spear Thistle




Introduced biennial forb 50cm to 1.5m tall.  Spiny leaf edges, stems, and flowers.  Leaves clustered at the base of the plant, later alternating up the stems.  Leaves 4-30cm long, flat, green and rough above, hairy beneath, divided, with sharp tips.  Stem leaves with the bases continuing down the stems.  Flower heads pink to purple, with many 'petals', bell-shaped or oval to almost globular, in dense clusters of 1-4 at the ends of the stems.  Proclaimed weed SA.  Noxious weed Vic.

Description and photo in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales page 723

PlantNET description: