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(plumeless thistle), a genus of thorny plants of the family Compositae. There are about 120 species, distributed in Eurasia and northern Africa. The USSR has more than 30 species. The musk thistle (C. nutans), the welted thistle (C. crispus), and C. acanthoides grow as weeds in fields and along roads. Some species are nectar-bearers. The Russian common name for the genus—chertopolokh—is also used to designate other thorny plants of the same family (mainly in the genera Cirsium and Xanthium) or of other families (for example, Eryngium planum of the family Umbelliferae).