Musk thistle (Carduus nutans) belongs to Asteraceae (the Aster family). It is a biennial herb that is native to much of Europe and Asia. This herb grows in grasslands, roadside verges and scrubs, and can reach 1-1.5 m in height. The leaves are dark green, coarsely bipinnately lobed, with sharp yellow-brown to whitish spines at the tips of the lobes. The globose flower-heads are 3-5 cm across with large bracts, and bloom at the tips of stems in spring. They commonly droop to 90-120 degrees from the stem when mature. It is also called "Nodding thistle".