Herb: Wooly Thistle

Latin name: Cirsium eriophorum

Synonyms: Carduus eriophorus, Cnicus eriophorus

Family: Compositae

Edible parts of Wooly Thistle:

Young leaves - raw. Young stems - raw or cooked. An asparagus or rhubarb substitute. The stems are peeled and soaked in water to remove the bitterness, they are then said to be excellent eating. Flower buds - cooked. A globe artichoke substitute but much smaller and even more fiddly.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Grassland, open scrub and roadsides on calcareous soils.

Other uses of Wooly Thistle:

The seed fluff is used as a tinder. 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 Wooly Thistle:

Grassland, open scrub and roadsides on calcareous soils.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Cirsium eriophorum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.