3. Carduus acanthoides Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 821. 1753.
节毛飞廉 jie mao fei lian
Herbs (10-)20-100 cm tall, biennial or perennial. Stem solitary, long branched, ± hirsute; wings toothed, teeth with major spines pungent, 3-5 mm. Leaves concolorous, light or bluish green, not or scarcely cobwebby, sparsely hirsute along veins. Basal and lower cauline leaves sessile, elliptic to oblanceolate, 6-29 × 2-7 cm, pinnately lobed to pinnatipartite; segments 6-12 pairs, elliptic to triangular, margin toothed, teeth laterally and apically with 3-5 mm spines. Middle and upper cauline leaves similar but gradually smaller upward; uppermost cauline leaves ± broadly linear, sometimes undivided. Capitula mostly solitary or clustered at end of stem and branches. Involucre subglobose, 1.5-2(-2.5) cm in diam., glabrous or sparsely cobwebby. Outer phyllaries linear to triangular-subulate, ca. 7 × 1 mm, apical spinule 1-2 mm; middle phyllaries 8-14 × 1.5-1.6 mm, narrowed into a triangular-subulate erect-patent or spreading distal portion with apical 1-2 mm spinule; inner phyllaries linear, straight, ca. 16 × 1 mm, apex thin and acuminate. Corolla purplish red or rarely white, ca. 1.7 cm, tube ca. 8 mm. Achene brownish, ca. 4 mm. Pappus bristles white, ca. 1.5 cm. Fl. and fr. May-Oct. 2n = 16, 22.
Mountain slopes, mountain valleys, ravines, grasslands, forest margins, thickets, farmlands, by water; 200-3500 m. Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, SW Hunan, W Jiangsu, N Jiangxi, S Nei Mongol, Ningxia, E and S Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, N Xinjiang, E Xizang, Yunnan [Russia; SW Asia, Europe].
The distinction between Carduus crispus and C. acanthoides breaks down in Chinese material, which for the most part shows intermediate features. Perhaps only a single species (best assigned to C. acanthoides) exists in China.
Carduus acanthoides is naturalized in North and South America and the Pacific islands (New Zealand).