The meadow thistle (Cirsium dissectum) belongs to Asteraceae (the Aster family). It is a perennial herb that is native to north-west Europe. This herb grows in moist, nutrient poor grasslands and heathlands, and can reach 15-50 cm in height. The stem is grooved and cottony. The leaves are lanceolate, and hairy on top, with prickles and not spines. It flowers from June until August. The flower heads are 2 to 3 cm across, the florets being dark red or purple.