Scientific Name:
Cynara cardunculus L.
Vernacular Name(s):

Perennial herb to 2 m tall. Stems stout, ridged, with cobwebby hairs. Rosettes tufted, withering at fruiting. Basal lvs deeply 1–2-pinnatifid, 30–60 × 15–35 cm; lobes narrow-lanceolate, becoming smaller towards the base, with sparse cobwebby hairs above and dense cobwebby hairs beneath, slightly viscid; midrib stout, ridged; spines borne on apices and clustered at bases of lobes, rigid, yellowish, 10–18 mm long. Stem lvs similar to basal, the upper becoming smaller and less divided. Capitula solitary or up to 7 in lax cymes, 5–10 cm diam. Involucre ovoid; outer bracts coriaceous, triangular, acute, recurved; middle bracts ovate, with a rigid, inrolled, narrow-triangular, erecto-patent, spinous appendage; inner bracts oblong to linear, with a scarious, triangular or ovate, cuspidate or mucronate, suberect appendage. Corolla 50–65 mm long; lobes blue, lilac or whitish. Style long-exserted, usually with a ring of short hairs at base of stigma branches. Achenes 6–9 × 3–5 mm, obovoid, pale, often with dark spots and streaks. Pappus 25–40 mm long.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Dec.–Jan.; Fruiting: Feb.–Mar.