Carthamus lanatus L.


Genus: Carthamus

Catalan common name: Assota-Cristos. Card de sang. Card fuell. Card negre. Card sant.

Spanish common name: Cardo cabrero. Cardohuso. Cártamo silvestre.

Province distribution: Alacant. Balearic Islands. Barcelona. Castelló. Girona. Lleida. Tarragona. València.

Distribution in the islands: Mallorca. Menorca. Ibiza. Formentera. Cabrera.

General distribution (Phytogeography): Mediterranean

IUCN Category: LCLeast concern

Flowering time: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Life-forms: Terophyte.

Habitats: Cultivated fields, path and road sides, disturbed zones. Cultivated fields and disturbed zones.

Characteristics: An annual plant, with spiny leaves and capitula; the leaves are hard and rigid. The leaves of the stems are wide, with small, lobules armed with a spine; the basal leaves have lobules which almost reach the rachis of the leaf. The capitula have long, rigid bracts; the flowers are yellow. The fruits at the most peripheral part of the capitula have a reddish pappus, the interior pappi are white. The top of the bracts and the capitula are covered with hairs like a cobweb. It can be mistaken for Carlina lanata which lives and flowers at similar times and places. We will differentiate them because of the greatly divided leaves of Carthamus and because of the interior reddish bracts of Carlina. It is frequently found in dry fields and in moors. It flowers at the beginning of summer.