A very common wild plant, with dark-coloured longish leaves, and purple flowers, like those of thistles. It is two feet high. The stalks are roundish, but ribbed: they are of a pale colour, very firm and strong, upright, and divided into branches. The leaves are long, and of the same breadth: those which grow immediately from the root, are but little jagged or cut at the edges: those which stand upon the stalk, are more so. The flowers are large; they stand in scaly heads, one of which is placed at the top of every branch: and at a distance, they have something of the appearance of the flowers of thistles, but when examined nearer, they are more like these of the blue bottle. The flowers themselves are of a bright red, and large.
The young plant is used fresh: a decoction of it is good against the bleeding of the piles, against loosenesses with bloody stools, and all other bleedings. A slight infusion is recommended against sore throats, to be used by way of gargle. There are so many of these gentle astringent plants, common in our fields, as yarrow and the like, that less respect is to be paid to one of less power in the same way. Knapweed may be very properly added to decoctions of the others, but it would not be so well to trust to its effects singly.