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Common Name: Musk Thistle
Carduus nutans is a Biennial up to 0.90 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Most of Europe, including Britain, north to Norway, south and east to N. Africa, Siberia and W. Asia
Pastures, arable fields and waste places on calcareous soils[
Succeeds in a sunny position in ordinary garden soil[
The flowers, and indeed the whole plant, give off a pleasing musk-like perfume[
]. The plant is very attractive to bees, hoverflies and butterflies[
], it is a food plant for the caterpillars of many lepidoptera species[
Pith of stem - boiled[
]. A pleasant taste[
], it is eaten like asparagus[
]. Said to be delicious[
The dried flowers are used as a curdling agent for plant milks etc[
The flowers are febrifuge and are used to purify the blood[
The seeds contain a fixed oil that is rich in linoleic acid[
]. This has proved of benefit in the prevention of atherosclerosis[
The down of the plant is used to make paper[
The seed of all species of thistles yields a good oil by expression[
]. This species contains 41 - 44% oil[
Seed - sow spring in situ.