Canada thistle is an erect perennial up to 4 ft. (1.2 m) tall.
The leaves vary from light to dark green, oblong or lance shaped, deeply cut, spiny toothed margins (some may be smooth); Slightly hairy below. Tremendous leaf variability.
The flower heads consist of small bristly clusters, 3/8" to 5/8" (1-2 cm) in diameter, light lavender to deep rose purple. Flowers are male or female.
Seeds are smooth, light to dark brown, tipped by a cupped conical point, approximately 1/8" (2 mm) long.
Canada thistle is an introduced Eurasian species. It inhabits well-drained, light-textured soils along roadsides, in wildlands, grain fields and pastures. It becomes established most easily in disturbed soils and is very difficult to control once it becomes established.
Flowers consist of small bristly clusters
Seeds are tipped by a cupped conical point
Throughout pastures in the Owens Valley and in Bridgeport, Walker and Coleville - Inyo/Mono Counties