Don t dismiss this plant as just another thistle - it is a striking and most attractive foliage plant with flat rosettes of large,
prickly leaves, most strikingly lined and marbled with broad white veins -
indeed variegation probably not surpassed for beauty in any other plant - and bearing large heads of sweet-scented, rose-purple flowers.
Not only that, but you can eat it: the roots boiled, the flower-heads like Artichokes, and the leaves in salads - which just leaves the prickles!
This is indeed an impressive plant with its 6-foot flower stalk and white-streaked leaves.
The annual or biennial plant is easy to grow and has many uses. Said to have a powerful regenerative effect on the liver.
Eng.: Milk Thistle, blessed milkthistle, blessed milk-thistle, holy thistle, lady's thistle, Mary thistle, St Mary's milk thistle, variegated thistle. Suom.: Maarianohdake. Sven.: Mariatistel. Pharm.: fructus silybi, semen cardui mariae. Bot. syn.: Carduus marianus L., Mariana mariana (L.) Hill.