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Cnicus benedictus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cnicus
Species: C. benedictus
Binomial name
Cnicus benedictus
L.
Synonyms

Centaurea benedicta

Cnicus benedictus (Blessed Thistle or Holy Thistle or Spotted Thistle), the sole species in the genus Cnicus, is a thistle-like plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the Mediterranean region, from Portugal north to southern France and east to Iran. It is known in other parts of the world, including parts of North America, as an introduced species and often a noxious weed.

Contents

Growth

It is an annual plant growing to 60 cm tall, with leathery, hairy leaves up to 30 cm long and 8 cm broad, with small spines on the margins. The flowers are yellow, produced in a dense flowerhead (capitulum) 3-4 cm diameter, surrounded by numerous spiny basal bracts.

The related genus Notobasis is included in Cnicus by some botanists; it differs in slender, much spinier leaves, and purple flowers.

Medicinal uses

It has sometimes been used as a galactogogue to promote lactation. The crude drug contains about 0.2% cnicin.

It is a component in Bitters formulas, which are used to treat digestive issues.

It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.

Edibility

These thistles are not considered edible, unlike Cirsium, Arctium and Onopordum species; the leaves are considered unpalatable if not bitter.

19th century illustration

Considered a Nootropic. See Nootropics.

References

  1. Jepson Manual Treatment
  2. USDA Plants Profile
  3. GRIN Species Profile

External links


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Asterales
Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Cichorioideae
Tribus: Cardueae
Subtribus: Centaureinae
Genus: Cnicus
Species: C. benedictus

Name

Cnicus L.

Vernacular names

Русский: Кникус







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