Scolymus hispanicus


Sp. Pl. 2: 813. 1753.

Common names: Golden thistle Spanish salsify or oyster
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 19. Treatment on page 220.
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Biennials or perennials. Stem wings not continuous, margins spinose, little, if at all, white or thickened. Leaf blades 40–200 × 15–70 mm, margins little, if at all white or thickened. Involucres 15–20 × 8–10 mm, larger in fruit. Phyllaries lanceolate, glabrous. Cypsela/palea units ± orbiculate to ovate, 3–5 mm; pappi of 2–4 setiform-aristate scales plus 0–4 muticous to lanceolate scales. 2n = 20.

Phenology: Flowering Jul.
Habitat: Disturbed sites
Elevation: 0–100 m



Introduced; Ala., Calif., N.Y., Pa., Europe.


In the Mediterranean region, Scolymus hispanicus is used (or has been used) as a medicinal herb and root vegetable. It is considered to be a noxious weed in the United States.

Selected References


Lower Taxa