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Centaurea calcitrapa is a species of flowering plant known by several common names, including purple starthistle and red starthistle.  
It is native to Europe but is rarely found there, it is known across the globe as an introduced species and often a noxious weed.[1][2]  
The species name calcitrapa comes from the word caltrop, a type of weapon covered in sharp spikes.[3][4] 
This an annual or Biennial plant growing erect to a maximum height of one[7] to 1.3[3] metres.
The stems are hairless and grooved.[8] It sometimes takes the shape of a mound, and it is finely to densely hairy to spiny. The leaves are dotted with resin glands. The lowermost may reach a length of 20 centimeters and are deeply cut into lobes. The inflorescence contains a few flower heads. Each is 1.5 to 2 centimeters long and oval in general shape. The phyllaries are green or straw-colored and tipped in tough, sharp yellow spines. The head contains many bright purple flowers. The fruit is an achene a few millimeters long which lacks a pappus.
It flowers from July until September, and the seeds ripen from August to October.
(From Wikipedia on 22.7.13)

 
Leaves and young stems – raw or cooked[2, 46, 61, 105, 177].
The powdered seeds are drunk as a remedy for stone[4, 240]. The powdered root is said to be a cure for fistula and gravel[4, 240].
(From PFAF )


 
 
Flora from Srinagar 17072013 CS3 : Attachments (2). 4 posts by 2 authors.
May be an asteraceae weed. The flowers were very stiff and thorny


It is centaurea calcitrapa


Thank you Sir , for the ID. After browsing the names mentioned by you I take it that this species is Centaurea calcitrapa. The wikipedia link is below
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaurea_calcitrapa
The flowersofindia site did not have any links
From the wiki page it seems to be an introduced species. Has it become prevalent?


  
 
 

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