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Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1.5m
Max height
1m
Max spread
2 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Silybum marianum

Other names

Milk thistle, St Mary's thistle , Mary's thistle , Our Lady's milk thistle , Our Lady's thistle , Lady's thistle , Leaves of Mary , Blessed Mary's thistle, Blessed thistle, Holy thistle, Carduus marianus, Cardus marianus, Mediterranean milk thistle, Variegated thistle , Saint Mary's thistle , Marian thistle, Scotch thistle, Lady's milk

Genus

Silybum Silybum

Species

S. marianum - S. marianum is a biennial plant with lobed, prickly, ovate leaves that have conspicuous, white veins. It bears, purple-pink, thistle-like flowers in summer.


Silybum marianum is: Deciduous

Habit

Erect flower stem, Rosette

Flower

Purple in Summer

Foliage

Veined, Green, White in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

General care

Pruning

Remove faded flower stems.

Propagation

Sow seed in situ in late spring or early summer.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Silybum marianum (Milk thistle) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1m after 2 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Beds and borders, City, Cottage/Informal, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean

Cultivation

Grow in poor or moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in sun. Protect from excessive winter wet. Considered an invasive weed in many introduced areas.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Silybum marianum

Other names

Milk thistle, St Mary's thistle , Mary's thistle , Our Lady's milk thistle , Our Lady's thistle , Lady's thistle , Leaves of Mary , Blessed Mary's thistle, Blessed thistle, Holy thistle, Carduus marianus, Cardus marianus, Mediterranean milk thistle, Variegated thistle , Saint Mary's thistle , Marian thistle, Scotch thistle, Lady's milk

Genus

Silybum Silybum

Species

S. marianum - S. marianum is a biennial plant with lobed, prickly, ovate leaves that have conspicuous, white veins. It bears, purple-pink, thistle-like flowers in summer.

Native to

Mediterranean, Southwestern Europe

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Erect flower stem, Rosette


Colour

Flower

Purple in Summer

Foliage

Veined, Green, White in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

General care

Pruning

Remove faded flower stems.

Propagation

Sow seed in situ in late spring or early summer.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Silybum marianum (Milk thistle) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1m after 2 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Beds and borders, City, Cottage/Informal, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean

Cultivation

Grow in poor or moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in sun. Protect from excessive winter wet. Considered an invasive weed in many introduced areas.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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