The king of thistles. Big and bright and spiky.
A couple of young plants
Side of dirt road.
San Diego County, California, US
Unlike many thistles which are introduced and invasive, Cobweb Thistle is a native species with numerous subspecies endemic to California.
This rare ground-crowding form of the Cobwebby Thistle is endemic to the central California coast. The vast majority of known records are from a short stretch of northern San Luis Obispo County and southern Monterey County.
The more common form is a tall, erect plant like most other regional thistles.