Family: Asteraceae (Daisy family).
Native of Europe and western Asia.
Occurrence: An uncommon thistle in the north central area of Victoria.
It is a noxious weed and listed as Regionally Controlled in central Victoria.
Scotch Thistle is similar, but is more branched below the flowers, and the spiny bracts around the flowers are narrower.
Photos: Illyrian Thistle, Nuggetty, Maldon, growing on old mining works. Most of the bracts (floral leaves) point downwards.