(Carduus L.) - a genus of plants from the Asteraceae family. It covers about 130 species, of which 5 grows naturally in Europe. The typical species is Carduus nutans. In colloquial language, the name "thistle" is also used for morphologically similar plants belonging to other genera.
Flowers gathered in quite large, mostly hemispherical baskets. The bottom of the basket with bristly chaff. Leaves covered with thorns. All flowers in the basket are tubular flowers with a similar structure. Chalice turned into a pappus with individual hairs, at the most only with panic.
As my grandfather once showed me, thistle love to eat horses. They do not interfere with prickly spikes, they are attracted by the sweet taste of thistles.