Wild Flowers Provence

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Silybum marianum

Chardon Marie
Milk Thistle

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Additional information

Plant family

Area

Provence Verte

Flower colour

pink

Flower size

25-40 mm

Flowering months

April,

May,

June

Leaf type

Pinnatisect

Height

2 m

Description

Fields, roadsides, olive groves.

Flowers

Flower heads are purple, solitary at the end of a branched stem. The florets are tubular, bracts are oblong, terminating in 7 cm spines.

Leaves

Pinnatisect leaf is deeply lobed, almost to the central midrib. Basal: deeply divided almost to central midrib, white spiny margins. Upper: clasping stem, smaller.

Fruits Seeds

Achene: a cluster of 1-seeded fruit with tufts of hair.

Edible

Leaves: spines removed and steamed, taste like spinach.

Medical

Seeds: traditionally used to treat ‘fatty liver’ after excessive alcohol use, hepatitis A & B, cirrhoses of the liver and gallbladder problems.

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