• Onopordum acanthium ‘Cotton Thistle’ [Ex. Co. Durham, England] 45 SEEDS

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    Onopordum acanthium

    'Cotton Thistle'

    [Ex. Co. Durham, England]

    Asteraceae: a tall biennial with winged, spiny stems coated in cottony down. Grows on disturbed ground. The flower heads are 30-35mm across, with reddish-purple florets and a globular base covered in spine-tipped bracts, in clusters, blooming from July-September. The leaves are oblong with wavy, spiny lobes, cottony on both surfaces. It was probably introduced to Britain, it is not common, best seen in the South and East of England. Native to Europe, possibly including Britain, from Scandinavia south and east to Spain and Western Asia.



    The flower buds are cooked as a globe artichoke substitute. A good quality edible oil is obtained from the seed.

    The flowering plant has cardiotonic properties. It is used in some proprietary heart medicines. The juice of the plant has been used with good effect in the treatment of cancers and ulcers.



    sow spring in situ, or the seed can also be sown in situ in autumn. If the seed is in short supply, then it can be sown in a pot in the greenhouse in the spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Succeeds in almost any ordinary garden soil. Requires a well-drained soil in full sun. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil. Plants are hardy to about -15°C, and often self-sows. The flowers are very attractive to bees.


    HARVESTED: 2020