Description: Perennial herbs.
Leaves alternate, 1–2-pinnatifid, margins spinose, upper surface green with glandular hairs, lower surface white-tomentose.
Heads compound, each floret surrounded by 3 or 4 rows of scale-like involucral bracts, with white bristles surrounding the bracts; outer involucral bracts needle-like; inner bracts spathulate to lanceolate, awned; receptacle minute. Anthers sagittate at base. Style branches short, bristly, not thickened at union. Florets all tubular, bisexual; blue or greyish to white.
Achenes cylindrical, angled, densely hairy; pappus of free or fused scales.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, Europe, Africa, Asia. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).
Text by L. Murray