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Carduus nutans L.
Family Asteraceae
Common name: Nodding Thistle

Carduus nutans L. APNI*

Description: Biennial herb to 70 cm high; stem with wings cut into spinose lobes.

Basal leaves forming a rosette, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 5–25 cm long, 2–10 cm wide, deeply pinnatisect, concolorous, pubescent; cauline leaves similar, shorter, 5–10 cm long, stem-clasping.

Heads several; heads hemispherical; involucral bracts lanceolate, outer spine-tipped, slightly spreading, middle spine-tipped, erect, purplish, inner shorter, not spiny. Florets purple.

Achenes 4–5 mm long; pappus bristles unequal, 15–20 mm long.


Flowering: December–February

Distribution and occurrence: Serious pasture weed, from Glen Innes to the Tumut area. Native of Eur., Asia and N Afr.
NSW subdivisions: *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas. *S.A. *W.A.
Declared Noxious Weed
AVH map***

A declared noxious weed throughout N.S.W.

Text by L. Murray
Taxon concept:

One subspecies in NSW : Carduus nutans subsp. nutans

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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