W. Europe to Cent. Asia
It was the emblem of Scotland, accompanied by the early motto "Touch me who dares!"
Source of plant
To 3m. Stem yellow, pubescent, wings 2-4, with spines to 11mm. Leaves to 35x20cm, oblong-ovate to lanceolate or ovate, sessile, sinuate-dentate or pinnatilobed, lobes triangular, with apical spine to 1cm, grey-green tinged grey and sparsely lanate above. Capitula solitary or in leafy, terminal clusters of 2-7; involucre to 3x6cm; phyllaries gradually tapering to a 5mm spine, minutely pubescent; florets to 2.5cm, white or purple. Fruit 4-5mm; pappus 7-9mm, rough, pale rufescent.
USDA Hardiness Zone