Irish wildflowers

Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
Photos: Paula O'Meara, Co.Wexford

Milk Thistle
Silybum marianum
Feochadán Muire
Family: Asteraceae

Flowering June - September. Annual or biennial. Introduced.

Solitary, long-stalked flowerheads with red-purple, tubular florets. Oval-based, hairless bracts with spiny edges and stout yellowish spine at tip. Blackish achenes with simple white pappus. Hairless, spiny, bright-green leaves with very conspicuous white veins. Stems grooved, unwinged, +/- cottony. Height 40-100cm.

Occurs on sandy cultivated and waste ground. Rare, often coastal. Introduced, usually found as a relic of cultivation near houses or ruins.


Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum       Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum


Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum. Co. Wexford, November 2010. All photographs ©Paula O'Meara

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