Thistle, Blessed (Cnicus benedictus), packet of 30 seeds, organic

$2.95

Family:  Aster (Asteraceae)

Hardy to Zones 7 to 10, otherwise grown as a summer annual, 60 days to harvest

(Centauria benedicata, Carbenia benedicta, Carduus benedictus, Blessed Thistle, St Benedict’s Thistle, Holy Thistle) Winter annual, in that in nature it generally germinates in the fall, overwinters as a rosette, and goes to flower the next year.  Native to the Mediterranean basin and Asia minor.  Downy-leaved, low growing, and barely prickly, the plant may be harvested in early flower and dried to make tea or tincture.  This is one of the oldest of all herbal remedies, first mentioned in Turner’s herbal of 1568.  Traditional usage: headache,  migraine, improves appetite, liver stimulant, fever, sweat inducing, galactogogue, prophyllactic to plague.  Shakespeare:  “Get you some of this distilled Carduus benedictus and lay it to your heart;  it is the only thing for a qualm…”  Plant prefers full sun and regular garden soil.  Direct seed outdoors in fall or early spring, or plant in pots or flats.  Barely cover seed and keep warm and evenly moist until germination, which occurs in 1 to 2 weeks.  Some of the seeds will bring their seed coat and characteristic pappus hair “crown” up with them when they germinate, which helps differentiate them from weeds.  The seeds are large and easy to work with. Space plants about 2 feet apart. Easy, rewarding, worth having, and decidedly unthistle-like.

30 seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown

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