Dipsacus japonicus is
a biennial herb found in sunny, damp grasslands; the stems grow over
one meter in height and branch well, with stiff, spiny structures
all over. Leaves are of alternate phyllotaxis, and each pinnately
cleft deeply into segments to the bases. The pieces are
sharp-pointed at their tips, and the margins are serrated. Many
light red-purple florets gather to form a ball-like flower head.
About 2cm across, the flower head has 5-20mm-long involucral bracts,
which, standing in a row, curve backward. The corolla is cylindrical
and cleft in 4 segments at the top. Stamens, 4 in number, are above
the corolla. Bloom time: August-September.