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Cynara

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Cynara

Seedheads of Artichoke Thistle
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Asterales
Family:Asteraceae
Genus:Cynara
Species

Cynara alba
Cynara algarbiensis
Cynara auranitica
Cynara baetica
Cynara cardunculus
Cynara cornigera
Cynara cyrenaica
Cynara humilis
Cynara hystrix
Cynara scolymus
Cynara syriaca
Note that this list may include some synonyms

Cynara is a genus of about 10 species of thistle-like perennials in the family Asteraceae, originally from the Mediterranean, northwestern Africa, and the Canary Islands.

Among the species in this genus are:

  • Cynara cardunculus is the Cardoon or Artichoke thistle or Wild artichoke, in some places used as a food. It is a common source of a coagulant used as an alternative to rennet in the manufacture of cheese, with the advantage that the cheese is then fully suitable for vegetarians; many southern European cheeses are traditionally made in this way. The edible Globe Artichoke may be an ancient cultigen of this plant. As an introduced species in California, it is a major pest.
  • Cynara humilis, a wild thistle of southern Europe and north Africa, traditionally used as a food by the Berbers. Like C. cardunculus, it can also be used in cheese-making.
  • Cynara scolymus is the edible Globe Artichoke. It differs from C. cardunculus in that the leaf lobes and inner bracts of involucre are less spiny.

References

  • Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The Plant Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 706 p. ISBN 0 521 34060 8.
  • Robbins, W.W., M. K. Bellue, and W. S. Ball. 1970. Weeds of California. State of California, Dept. of Agriculture. 547 p.
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