Upright, tall (to 120cm), red/purple tinged very spiny plant of marshes, roadsides and woods. The spines grow all along the stems which are winged. From June to August, Marsh thistle's flowerheads are 15-20mm across with dark reddish/purple florets in clusters. The seeds appear after the bracts have dried out and blow about on cottony little plumes. This is a native plant belonging to the family Asteraceae.
I first identified this in July 2007 in Gibletstown, Co Wexford where it was also photographed.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre