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Home » Plant infomation

Onopordum acanthium  L.

   

Botanical Name

:

Onopordum acanthium L.

English Name

:

Cotton thistle, Scotch thistle, Scottish thistle, Spear thistle, Heraldic thistle, Woolly thistle, Winged thistle, Jackass thistle, Silver thistle

Family

:

Asteraceae

 

General Info

Description

A biennial plant growing to 1.5m by 1m at a slow rate. The leaves are 10–50 cm wide, are alternate and spiny, often covered with white woolly hairs, with the lower surface more densely covered than the upper. They are deeply lobed with long, stiff spines along the margins, and have winged appearance that continues down the stems of the plant. The flowers are globe-shaped, 3-5 cm in diameter, from dark pink to lavender, and are produced in the summer from July to September. The flower buds form first at the tip of the stem and later at the tip of the axillary branches. The flower heads exist singly or in groups of 2 or 3 on branch tips. They are androgynous, with both pistil and stamens, and sit above numerous, long, stiff, spine-tipped bracts, all pointing outwards, the lower ones wider apart and pointing downwards. After flowering, the ovary starts swelling and forms about 8,400 to 40,000 seeds per plant.

Herb Effects

Antipyretic, antitussive, aperitif, cardiotonic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, laxative, stimulant and stomachic (plant); astringent (root); cardiotonic (flowers)

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Medicinal Use

The plant is used in treating amenorrhea, anorexia, facial cancers, skin cancer, cardiopathy, constipation, convulsions, cough, dermatosis, diarrhea, dyscrasia, fever, lupus, nausea, rashes, scab, scabies, sclerosis, scrofula, sores, water retention and wounds.

Reference

James A Duke and Maryl Fulton. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs - 2nd Edition, P: 659-660, CRC Press July 2002.

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