PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Thistle

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Cirsium discolor

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Common thistle, Field thistle

CONDITIONS: sun-partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520remove spikes

bitter celery

RAW/COOK

Spring

Stalk/Stem

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520peel

celery

RAW/COOK

Spring

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A5201st year

sunchoke/parsnip

RAW/COOK

Fall

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION:  small-medium

 

COMMENT:  Some thistles have hairy stems and others are smooth.  Only very young leaves are edible - raw or cooked. Otherwise, spikes must be removed, which is time consuming. Stem is a celery substitute, run fingers down stem removing hairs and leaves, then peel outer layer.  Root can be eaten raw, but best cooked, tastes between Jerusalem Artichoke (sunchoke) and Parsnip.(3)

 

CAUTION: use gloves to avoid spikes.  For Canada thistle and other thistles, 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.(1)  Inulin does not cause a spike in blood sugar, as potatoes do.  However, the root should be soaked in water from 8-24 hours and then boiled in an open pot in order to reduce flatulence.

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  https://www.webmd.com / https://draxe.com/

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  other larger thistles, such as bull and milk thistles

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES:

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Cirsium+arvense  (Canada thistle related)
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirsium & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirsium_discolor
  3. https://plighttofreedom.com/?s=thistle