Carduus foliosus Hook.
Cnicus foliosus A.Gray
Common Name: Elk Thistle
Cirsium foliosum is a biennial to short-lived perennial plant growing from a taproot; it produces a single, erect, stout and more or less fleshy stem around 25 - 70cm tall. The plant usually flowers in its second or third year of growth, dying after flowering[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Northwestern North America - Yukon, Northwest Territory, British Columbia, Alberta, Wyoming
Swales and other moderately moist and badly drained sites[
]. Moist soil, grasslands, meadows, edges and openings in boreal forest, subalpine forests and alpine slopes; at elevations from 150 - 2,600 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera, Beetles, Self
Cirsium species are generally easily grown plants, succeeding in any ordinary garden soil in a sunny position[
]. This species should tolerate wet soils[
A monocarpic species, it grows for one or more years without flowering, but then dies after flowering the following year[
Root - cooked[
]. About the size of a carrot, they are sweet and well-flavoured though require long preparation[
]. 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[
]. No more details are given.
Stems - peeled[
]. The peeled stems are a sweet potherb[
]. Tender with a sweet delicate taste212].
The seed of all species of thistles yields a good oil by expression[
]. No details of potential yields etc are given[
Seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 8 weeks at 20°c[
Division in spring or autumn.