What is this monster weed? It grows back every year and I yank it, but I can't dig out the tap root because it's too close to the gas line.
It is in Norfolk, VA, USA in full sun.
I'm kind of curious about whether it will flower, and I decided to let it grow this year for identification. It's over 6 feet (>1.8 m) tall at this time, and looking rather wilted today in the heat.
Reminds me of a thistle, but it doesn't really have that many barbs, and the ones that it has don't prick my finger when I touch them. I don't want to let it grow much longer, because I'm worried about it going to seed and spreading!