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Common name: Spear Thistle
Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten. APNI*
Synonyms: Carduus lanceolatus L. APNI*
Description: Biennial erect herb to 1.5 m high; stems with discontinous spinose wings, cobwebby.
Basal leaves obovate to lanceolate, narrowed at base, toothed to pinnatisect, with spinose margins, to 30 cm long, upper surface dark green and hispid, lower surface white-tomentose; cauline leaves similar, 4–25 cm long, decurrent.
Heads campanulate, 12–40 mm diam.; involucral bracts narrow-lanceolate, many, outer rows tipped with long spreading to recurved spines. Florets purple.
Achenes 3–6 mm long, smooth; pappus 2–3 cm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Weed in areas of cultivation, wasteland and roadsides. Native of N Afr., Eur. & Asia.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP, *SFWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A.
Text by L. Murray
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)
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.