Onopordum illyricum (weed)

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Onopordum illyricum (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Onopordum illyricum (weed) L. - (Illyrian thistle)

This thistle is native to the Mediterranean region, but has been introduced as an ornamental into other regions. It has become an invasive weed in parts of Australia, where around 1 million hectares of grazing land were affected. Like the related scotch thistle, O. illyricum is a biennial plant that grows to a height of about 2 m, with spiny stems and leaves and a spherical flower head.