thistle(redirected from Atractylodes macrocephala)
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the name of many thorny plants of the family Compositae, mainly of the genus Onopordum. There are more than 40 species, distributed in Eurasia and North Africa, chiefly in Mediterranean countries. Of the approximately ten species found in the USSR, the most common is the Scotch thistle (O. acanthium), a biennial weed with a prickly, dentate, and winged stem and large thorny leaves. The plant’s lilac-pink flowers are gathered into large solitary heads. The fruits have pappi. The Scotch thistle is found in the European USSR, the Caucasus, Siberia, and Middle Asia.