Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
Milk thistle is an annual that may grow quite tall on its branching, sharply-bristled stem. A wild, edible plant, milk thistle is normally a biennial, although blooming has occurred the first year. Unusual purple-pink fragrant flower is surrounded by very prickly leaves. Flowers from June to August. The plant has many edible parts: tender young stalks, leaves, roots and flowers can be eaten. The root and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, though leaf-spines must be removed before eating. The flower buds can be cooked. The stems can be eaten raw or cooked. Milk thistle can be used as a vegetable or added to salads. Tender stems in springtime are best. Roasted milk thistle seeds can be used as coffee substitute. Many grow or purchase milk thistle for its health supplementing properties. Milk thistle seed, extract, seed powder, and capsules are considered of great benefit by many. 50 seeds/2.00.