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Plant Form: Erect annual herb
Size: Up to 1 m tall.
Stem: Yellowish white or pale green, rigid and ribbed.
Leaves: Deeply lobed (dissected), spiny, 3-6 cm long.
Flowers: Yellow, 1-2 cm diameter, with outer leaf-like bracts, often bent downwards, cobwebby, spiny.
Fruit and Seeds: 5-6 mm long, smooth, naked, light brown, with parachuting hairs (pappus) of many linear scales 7-10 mm long.
Habitat: Paddocks, disturbed areas, grasslands, generally open.
Distinguishing Features: Combination of yellow flowers and dissected leaves ending in spines distinguish from other species in the genus Carthamus.