Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.


Genus: Silybum

Catalan common name: Card blanc. Card de Maria. Card gallofer. Card lleter. Cardot.

Spanish common name: Cardo borriqueiro. Cardo de asno. Cardo mariano.

Province distribution: Balearic Islands.

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

Uses and properties: Edible or foodstuffs. Medicinal. Symbolic uses.

IUCN Category: LCLeast concern

Life-forms: Hemicryptophyte.

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

Characteristics: A thistle with a large capitulum with sharp defensive spines directed outwards, this is all supported by a leafless peduncle. The leaves that plant does have are wide at the base with spiny the margin. Flowers during the spring. This thistle is very easy to tell apart from the rest by the spines on its capitulum. It can?t be confused with Galactites tomentosa, which is found in similar environments, as the latter is a much smaller plant, with leaves deeply divided and although it too has spines, but not as long and stiff as those of the capitula.