A vigorous, columnar, upright plant that features prickly, deeply-lobed, silver-gray leaves and beautiful thistle-like flowers. Historically used as an edible vegetable but now mostly grown as an ornamental annual for its attractive foliage and flowers (August through September in cold winter climates). Typically grows in a clump to 3' tall from which flower stalks rise to 6' tall, topped with blue-violet flowers. The flowers are quite showy on the plant or when cut for fresh or dried arrangements. 3-6'H x 2-3'W. USDA Zones 7-9.