Description from Flora of China
Carduus vulgaris Savi, Fl. Pis. 2: 241. 1798; C. lanceolatus Linnaeus; Cirsium lanceolatum (Linnaeus) Scopoli (1772), not Hill (1769); Eriolepis lanceolata (Linnaeus) Cassini.
Herbs 25-150 cm tall, biennial. Stems grayish white, erect, branched above, winged, with sparse long multicellular hairs and cobwebby, densely felted above; wings toothed, teeth ending in a long spine. Leaves herbaceous, discolorous, abaxially grayish white and densely felted, adaxially green to yellowish green, rough and densely covered with ca. 1.5 mm spinules. Middle cauline leaves sessile, linear-lanceolate, lanceolate, or oblanceolate, 10-15 × 4-5 cm, bipinnatipartite; primary segments 3 or 4 pairs, equally or unequally forked; secondary segments triangular to lanceolate, fringed with spinules, apex with a 5-10 mm spine; terminal lobe lanceolate, fringed with spinules and a few spines 5-10 mm. Upper cauline leaves similar but gradually smaller upward. Bracts linear, margin with long spines. Capitula few to many, paniculate-corymbose to racemose, erect. Involucre ovoid, 3-5 cm in diam., glabrous. Phyllaries imbricate, in ca. 10 rows, lacking wings and scarious appendage; outer and middle phyllaries 0.8-3 × 0.2-0.4 cm, basal portion triangular, lanceolate, or linear, apical portion subulate, 5-9 mm, and narrowed into a spine; inner phyllaries linear, ca. 3.4 × 0.3 cm, apex acuminate. Florets bisexual. Corolla red, ca. 3 cm, tube filiform, ca. 2 cm. Achene brown, ca. 4 mm. Pappus bristles white, to 3 cm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Aug. 2n = 34, 68.
Cirsium vulgare is a noxious weed that is naturalized in many parts of the world.
Farmlands, wet grasslands; 400-1800 m. N Xinjiang [Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Turkmenistan; N Africa, SW Asia, Europe].