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NAME: Thistle

SPECIES / FAMILY:  Cirsium Arvense

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Canadian Thistle, Field Thistle 

CONDITIONS: sun-partial shade
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520remove spikes

bitter celery

RAW/COOK

Spring

Stalk/Stem

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520peel

celery

RAW/COOK

Spring

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A5201st year

sunchoke/parsnip

RAW/COOK

Fall

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION:  small-medium

 

COMMENT:  Some thistles have hairy stems and others are smooth.  Only very young leaves are edible - raw or cooked. Otherwise, spikes must be removed, which is time consuming. Stem is a celery substitute, run fingers down stem removing hairs and leaves, then peel outer layer. //  Root can be eaten raw, but best cooked, tastes between Jerusalem Artichoke (sunchoke) and Parsnip.(3)

 

CAUTION: Use gloves to avoid spikes.  Soak roots for 24 hours & change water once before cooking in order to avoid flatulence. For Canada thistle and other thistles, “The root is likely to be rich in inulin, a starch that cannot be digested by humans. This starch thus passes straight through the digestive system and, in some people, ferments to produce flatulence.”(1)  Inulin does not cause a spike in blood sugar, as potatoes do.  However, the root should be soaked in water from 8-24 hours and then boiled in an open pot in order to reduce flatulence.

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  https://www.webmd.com / https://draxe.com/

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  other larger thistles, such as bull and milk thistles

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES:

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Cirsium+arvense  (Canada thistle related)
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/thistle-touch-me-not-but-add-butter-2/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirsium & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirsium_discolor
  4. https://plighttofreedom.com/?s=thistle
  5. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cirsium_arvense (good photos)
  6. https://commonsensehome.com/thistle
  7. https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/thistles-high-nutrient-weed
  8. https://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen/The-Noble-Thistle
  9. https://www.houmatoday.com/entertainment/20100411/thistle-eating-forms-a-tasty-part-of-south-louisiana-childhood
  10. http://foragedfoodie.blogspot.com/2017/03/thistle-leaf-salad.html (recipe)
  11. https://farmingmybackyard.com/foraging-food-sweet-chili-thistles-recipe (recipe)
  12. https://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/thistle-soup-recipe-zmaz71mjzgoe (recipe)
  13. https://www.botanical-online.com/en/recipes/thistle-recipes (recipe)
  14. http://homesteadingsummit.com/7-ways-to-prepare-thistle-katrina-blair (recipe)