Scientific Name:
Carduus nutans L.
Vernacular Name(s):
Bastard Scotch thistle; Musk thistle; Nodding thistle
Annual or biennial. Stems branched above, (15)–45–75–(250) cm tall, with sparse cobwebby and multicellular hairs below, becoming more densely cobwebby above, ribbed; wing narrow between the deltoid to palmatifid clusters of teeth; spines 2–6 mm long. Lvs narrow-oblong, deeply pinnatifid, (5)–8–18–(40) × 2.5–10 cm, glabrescent or with scattered multicellular hairs especially on midrib and veins; basal lvs with 5–9 pairs of lobes; lobes pinnatifid to palmatifid-dentate; teeth spine-tipped; spines pale, 5–8 mm long. Capitula nodding, persistent, 3–4–(5) × 3–4–(5) cm, solitary; peduncle (0.5)–3–8–(12) cm long, (1)–2–3–(4) mm diam., leafless, not winged, with dense woolly tomentum. Involucre broadly ovoid to depressed-globose. Outer and middle involucral bracts geniculate; claw narrow-oblong, erect; limb lanceolate, usually broader than base, narrowly lanceolate-acuminate, deflexed to spreading, spine-tipped, ciliolate, the outer bracts sparsely cobwebby as well; midvein raised almost to base of limb. Inner involucral bracts linear, puberulent at base and apex; midvein not raised; apex acute, scarious, often purplish. Corolla usually red-purple, rarely white, 18–24 mm long; lobes 6–7–(8.5) mm long; swelling at throat of tube oblong,>2 mm long. Achenes pale, ellipsoid, 3–4 × 1.5–(2) mm; pappus (12)–15–22 mm long.
[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]
Flowering: (Jul.)–Nov.–Feb.–(Jun.); Fruiting: (Nov.)–Dec.–May.
Biosecurity New Zealand 2012: Regional Pest Management Strategies Database.
Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42.