Plants of the Castlemaine District

Artichoke Thistle - introduced (*Cynara cardunculus)

Home..... Menu..... Common name index..... Scientific name index..... Glossary ..... Thistles.....


Family: Asteraceae (Daisy family).

Native of the Mediterranean region.

Occurrence: Artichoke Thistle is generally uncommon in the Box-ironbark areas of Central Victoria. It is common and abundant on parts of the volcanic plains near Melbourne. Local infestations appear to be confined to the Baringhup district.


Artichoke Thistle is a declared noxious weed. It is regionally prohibited in parts of Victoria, and a Regionally Controlled weed in central Victoria. It is a perennial. The plant can cover a square metre or more of ground, and smother other vegetation. The leaf bases are sometimes used as a vegetable.

The related, and spineless, Globe Artichoke (*Cynara scolymus) is often cultivated.

Photos 1: Artichoke Thistle. St Albans Railway station carpark.
2: St Albans. 3: A Baringhup paddock with abundant Artichoke Thistles.

4: Dead Artichoke Thistle. 5: Leaf. Barfold Gorge, growing on basalt soil.
Artichoke Thistle in bud. Barfold Gorge.