I first came across this plant in Penelope Hobhouse's book "Garden Designs" (page 11). Is this something mainly grown in Europe? Would it be considered also a 'roadside' plant with its spines? This is as far as the plant has grown so far, should I pull it out?
Yes Morina longifolia is quite well known on these shores, it's from the Himalayas and not a roadside plant here in Europe. They are well worth growing for the flowerspike even if you don't like the leaves, the flowers come out pae pink or white and turn red after fertilization. They can be slow growers so give it a bit more time before you decide to pull him out.