Herb: Cotton Thistle

Latin name: Onopordum illyricum

Synonyms: Onopordon illyricum

Family: Compositae

Edible parts of Cotton Thistle:

Flower buds - cooked. Used as a globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) substitute, though they are even more fiddly than that plant.

Description of the plant:


130 cm
(4 1/4 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Sunny and well-drained habitats.

Propagation of Cotton Thistle:

Seed - sow spring in situ. The seed can also be sown in situ in autumn. If the seed is in short supply then it can be sown in a pot in the greenhouse in the spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Sunny and well-drained habitats.

Medicinal use of Cotton Thistle:

None known

Known hazards of Onopordum illyricum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.