Herb: Edible Thistle

Latin name: Cirsium edule

Family: Compositae

Edible parts of Edible Thistle:

Root - cooked. The root is likely to be rich in inulin, a starch that cannot be digested by humans. This starch thus passes straight through the digestive system and, in some people, ferments to produce flatulence. Young stems - peeled and eaten raw. Soft and sweet, they are considered to be a luxury food. Young shoots - raw or cooked as greens. Harvested in spring.

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Wet meadows and open woods in mountains.

Other uses of Edible Thistle:

The seed of all species of thistles yields a good oil by expression. No details of potential yields etc are given.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 8 weeks at 20C.

Cultivation of Edible Thistle:

Wet meadows and open woods in mountains.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Cirsium edule:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.