Description: Spiny annual or biennial herbs; hairs short and mealy or woolly.
Leaves basal or cauline, alternate, margins toothed to pinnatisect; sessile, auriculate to stem-clasping.
Heads terminal, solitary or clustered; involucral bracts several-seriate, unequal, rigid, herbaceous, spinose; receptacles flat, naked, bases of achenes in pits with dentate margins. All florets tubular, bisexual, fertile; corolla glabrous or glandular, 5-lobed, purple to pink or white. Anthers caudate at base, apex subulate, filaments hairy. Style branches linear, erect, appressed.
Achenes 4- or 5-angled; pappus of numerous, 1–several-seriate, barbellate or plumose bristles fused in a ring at the base.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 40 species, Europe, western Asia, & northern Africa. Australia: 3 or 4 species (naturalized), all States except Qld & N.T.
Text by L. Murray
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Stem absent; florets white||Onopordum acaulon|
|Stem present, erect; florets purple||2|
|2||Stem with several branches; spines yellow||Onopordum acanthium|
|Stem unbranched below inflorescence; spines dark|
Back to 1