Carduus nutans Nodding Thistle
A hardy biennial that is native to the meadows and grasslands of Europe and Asia. Produces spiny leaves and stems, and dramatic, nodding, red-purple flowers in summer. Fantastic plant for bees and other insects. Although it is a short lived plant it produces plenty of seeds so it will keep going in the garden. Height 1 to 1.5 metres. Full sun to part shade in any garden soil.