Purple milk thistle (Galactites tomentosa) belongs to the Asteraceae (the Aster family). It is an annual or biennial herb that is native the Mediterranean region. The stem is erect and pubescent, branched at the top, and it can reach 45-70 cm in height. The leaves are long and narrow, lanceolate, mottled with white markings. The abaxial sides are covered with matted woolly hairs. The margins of the leaves bear strong thorns. The white or pink to lilac-purple flowers are about 3 cm across, and bloom July and August. The fruits are achenes with whitish pappus.