Native to the southeastern United States, where it is found from Virginia south to Florida, and west to Louisiana.
A perennial that reproduces from seeds. Foliage commonly dies back in the winter, with re-growth from the roots of the plant. Commonly found along roadsides and in disturbed areas, fields, and open woods.
A tall thistle with one to several stems and numerous branches near the top of the stem that terminate with the large flower heads. The stem is very thick and fibrous, and covered with spines. The leaves are up to a foot long near the base and gradually shorten toward the top of the plant, giving the plant an overall tapered, conical look. Leaves are dark green, deeply lobed with each lobe further divided into 2 to 4 deep lobes, and with long spines at the tips of all lobes. The flower head is composed of violet disc flowers that open above the tightly closed, bowl-shaped calyx.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Not normally a turf or landscape problem. Individual plants can easily be hand removed, preferably prior to maturation of the seeds.