See also: Marie
The thistle-Marie ( Silybum marianum ) is a plant of the family of the Astéracées (or Made up), only known representative of the kind Silybum (certain authors however mention a second species, Silybum eburneum ). It is easily recognizable with its brilliant and thorny sheets pale green marbled of white. It affectionate particularly dry and sunny places, often on acid ground. Very frequent on the Mediterranean circumference, it is practically absent in the north of the Loire (except for the Atlantic coasts) and does not exceed in theory 700 Mr. of altitude.
Names of the plant
The term Silybum indicated in Greek and Latin an edible thistle. The qualifier marianium is related to the Virgin Mary: a legend wants that this one, wanting to dissimulate his/her child with the soldiers of Hérode, hid it under a large thistle. As it was nursing it, some milk drops fell on the sheets from the plant, which was thus mackled hereditarily.
French vernacular names: thistle-Marie, wild artichoke, silver plated thistle, thistle of Notre-Dame, marbled thistle, hawthorn, milk of Notre-Dame, silybe of Marie .
German: Mariendistel . English: Blessed Milkthistle . Castilian: cardo lechoso . Italian: cardo mariano, cardo di Santa Maria .
Robust plant, of big size, generally exceeding 1 Mr., with nonwinged stem.
Its large Sheet S green pale brilliant, pennatilobate and corrugated, is bordered of thorny teeth with very sharp-edged yellow point. Those of the base are petiolate, in rivet washer, very large (up to 40 cm). The higher is smaller and narrower, engainantes. All present to the avers many white veins, giving the impression which the sheet is mackled of milk.
The flowerheads, often solitary, can also be grouped in racèmes. They are surrounded by large bractées bent, at very sharp-edged end, each bractée having itself a circumference of small spines. The florets all, tubulés and with five lobes, are of color purplished crimson. The fruits are akenes luisants, blacks or marbled of yellow, overcome of a brush denticulée out of ring at their base. Flowering at the end of spring.
An extract of its root is sometimes used as active ingredient in the drinks énergisantes.
- Standard of inflorescence: racème of flowerheads
- distribution of the sexes: Standard hermaphrodite
- of pollination: entomogame, autogame
- Period of flowering: May at August
- Standard of fruit: Akène
- Mode of dissemination: anémochore
- Habitat and distribution:
- standard Habitat: long-lived waste lands mésoxérophiles, subméditerranéennes
- Surface of distribution: Mediterranean (eury)
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