The Carline thistle (Carlina vulgaris) belongs to Asteraceae (the Aster family). It is a biennial herb that is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. It grows in meadows and sand dunes and is 10 to 50 cm tall. The stem is straight and sparsely branched at the top. The leaves are green, lanceolate to elliptic, pinnately divided, serrated and spiny. 2-4 cm diameter head-shaped flowers bloom at the top of the stem from July to August. The ray flowers are linear and nearly white, and the tubular flowers are light brown, eventually turning dark brown or purple. The involucre is hemispherical, with the outer involucral scale leaf-like with a spiny margin and the inner involucral scale membranous and straw-colored. The fruit is achene with feathery hairs at the tip.