Milk thistle is a thorny plant presenting decorative leaves with a white pattern of veins and purple flower heads. The plant originates from mountains of Crete, where it forms scrub on a rocky base. Highly attractive to bees and butterflies. Milk thistle has been used for a number of purposes including treatment of liver disease and/or liver detox, prevention and treatment of cancer.
The plant is sometimes also used as a decorative element in gardens, and its dried flower heads may be used for the decoration of dry bouquets.
It is a biennial that will form a huge rosette it’s first year, and send up tall stems topped with large purple thistle flowers in the second year. It grows fast and the rippled leaves can become close to 2 ft long when it’s grown in rich garden soil. The irregular, white markings along the veins make it an attractive garden plant along with its showy flowers. Zone 6-10.
Other Names: cardus marianus, blessed milk-thistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary's thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, Carduus marianus, holy thistle, Lady thistle, variegated thistle, Scotch thistle, Glyphosate Detox, roundup detox.