PlantsSilybum→Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Milk Thistle
Give a thumbs up Mary's Thistle
Give a thumbs up Blessed Milk Thistle
Give a thumbs up Mother's Milk

Botanical names:
Silybum marianum Accepted
Carduus marianus Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Biennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: 2 feet to 6 feet
Plant Spread: 12 inches to 18 inches
Leaves: Variegated
Other: Basal leaves 6 inches to 28 inches in length with spiny margins.
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Leaves
Seeds or Nuts
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth


Photo gallery:

Posted by wildflowers (North East Texas - Zone 7b) on Feb 3, 2015 5:38 PM

Blessed milk thistle is an important medicinal herb that is used to regenerate damaged liver cells and is used for cirrhosis, hepatitis, jaundice, and poisoning by drugs or alcohol. It's the only known antidote to the deadly death-cap toadstool (Amanita phalloides). The young leaves can be cooked or eaten raw in salads.

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Posted by CraftyFox (Fox Valley, North America - Zone 5a) on Aug 3, 2021 5:39 PM

Is this plant really a biennial? I planted one from seed late spring and it is now blooming in late summer..

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Plant/Weed ID please... by GardenGoober Apr 12, 2021 11:53 AM 4
Time to post variegated, gold, purple, spotted all colors of the rainbow foliage by bumplbea Oct 25, 2020 7:59 AM 249
Blooming now by sallysmom Jun 29, 2020 6:05 AM 28
This seed case? by Janpay Aug 18, 2017 1:50 AM 4
a nice looking weed by tarev Jan 20, 2015 9:47 PM 8
What seeds are you ordering this year? by luvsgrtdanes Feb 22, 2015 10:07 AM 78
Announcing the 2014 Plant Weeks! by Trish Mar 9, 2014 2:11 PM 167
Physalis I think, but which one? by bonitin Sep 4, 2013 11:50 AM 8
ID Please. by KAMasud Mar 16, 2013 9:46 AM 7
My wintersowing adventures 2010 by gemini_sage Apr 9, 2014 5:08 PM 55

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