Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)
A member of the sunflower family Asteraceae. It is a biennial herb with showy red-purple flowers and sharply spiny stems and leaves.
Structure: Stalk 1′ to 3′ tall, growing from rosette
Life Cycle: Biennial – rosette in first season, then growing tall
What To Look For: Rosette of long, spiky leaves, large purple flowers on spike-covered stem
Growth Period: Flowers from June through September