Onopordum tauricum

Taurian thistle                                                                                          Γαϊδουράγκαθο

Compositae - daisy family                                                                                        Dicot.


The impressive, large, purple heads of Onopordum tauricum are abundant in fields and olive groves during early summer, often accompanied by other thistles and spiny plants in a variety of colours. The flower heads are surrounded by spiny bracts above a spiny winged stalk. Unlike the similar O. illyricum, the leaves are bright green and glossy and are not covered in cottony down.

The scientific name and onopordum ascribed to the plant by the Swedish botanist Linnaeus is less polite, deriving from ancient Greek (onos - όνος) for wild ass and fart (perdomai - πέρδομαι), presumably because of it effect on animals!! Tauricum meaning bull is appropriate to this robust, spiny plant. The modern Greek name is also very descriptive and translates to donkey prickle thistle, the name used for a number of large thistles.

❉5cm ↨ 40-150cm W                                                   JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
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