Common name: Slender Thistle
Carduus pycnocephalus L. APNI*
Description: Annual herb to 80 cm high; stem with ± discontinuous wings cut into spinose lobes.
Basal leaves few, oblanceolate, 5–20 cm long, 2–8 cm wide, deeply pinnatisect, margins with spinose angles, upper surface green and pubescent, lower surface white and cobwebby; cauline leaves oblanceolate, 5–15 cm long, 2–7 cm wide, pinnatifid.
Heads solitary, or in clusters of 2 or 3, cylindrical; involucral bracts erect, narrow-lanceolate, outer spinose, minutely hairy to pilose, middle spinose, thickened and inner shorter than florets, not spiny. Florets purple-pink.
Achenes 4–5 mm long; pappus bristles subequal, 10–14 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Weed of pastures, roadsides, wasteland and cultivation, west to Cobar area. Native of Eur.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.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
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