Scotch Thistle, Heraldic Thistle, Cotton Thistle
Introduced biennial forb to 2m tall. Stems, leaf edges, and flowers spiny. Leaves forming a rosette in the first year, then alternating up the stems, the leaf bases continuing down the stems. Rosette leaves 10-40cm long, 30-100mm wide, flat, glaucous, hairy, toothed. Stem leaves becoming smaller. Flowers with many purple, reddish purple, or mauve 'petals'. Flower heads flattened globular, borne singly or in clusters of 2-3 at the tops of the stems. Onopordum acanthium ssp. acanthium in NSW. 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 725
PlantNET description (as Onopordum acanthium ssp. acanthium): http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=in&name=Onopordum~acanthium~subsp.+acanthium
Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition description: http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/03030800-0b07-490a-8d04-0605030c0f01/media/Html/Onopordum_acanthium.htm