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Carduus nutans subsp. nutans
Plant Form: Erect biennial herb.
Size: Up to 70 cm tall.
Stem: With spiny wings along edges.
Leaves: Spiny. In rosette at base, up to 25 cm long, deeply dissected, upper leaves smaller, with stem-clasping bases.
Flowers: Purple flowerheads 2-5 cm across, often drooping, surrounded by purplish bracts, outer bracts ending in spine, inner bracts not spiny.
Fruit and Seeds: Grey to yellowish brown 4-5 mm long, with parachuting hairs to 2 cm long.
Habitat: Pastures, grasslands, roadsides.
Distinguishing Features: Differs from other species of Carduus in its leaves being green on both sides and having much larger flowerheads.