Family: Asteraceae (Daisy family).
Natives of Europe.
Winged Thistle and Slender Thistle are widespread and common thistles, and may grow in farmland, forest and disturbed areas. They may grow in dense stands or as isolated plants. They do not thrive in dry conditions. Both are environmental weeds.
Both thistles are similar in appearance. Diffences between Slender Thistle and Winged Thistle include:
|Winged Thistle||Slender Thistle|
|Spiny bracts (surrounding the flowers)||hairless on outer surface||finely hairy on outer surface|
|Spiny wings on stems||wings not continuous, spines to 5mm.||wings continuous, spines to 10mm|
|Flowers||2 or 3, terminal||3-9, terminal or from leaf bases|
|Height||to 80 cm||to 150cm|
Both thistles are environmental weeds and Regionally Controlled in parts of Victoria. Small infestations can be removed by pulling. The fluffy seeds are carried by wind. The seeds may lie dormant for many years.