Grassland, hedgerows, seaside, wasteland.
Solitary purple flowers, 4 to 5cm in size. The bracts of the flower have long, yellow, spiny spines. Pollinated by bees.
The mid-green, spiny, deeply lobed leaves have prominent white veins above. The stems are not winged, as with some thistles. Biennial.
Blessed Mary's Thistle, Blessed Milkthistle, Blessed Thistle, Holy Thistle, Lady's Milk, Lady's Thistle, Leaves of Mary, Marian Thistle, Mary Thistle, Mary's Thistle, Mediterranean Milk Thistle, Our Lady's Milk Thistle, Our Lady's Thistle, Saint Mary's Thistle, Scotch Thistle, Variegated Thistle.