Thistle, Milk (Silybum marianum) seeds, organic [WA no]

(1 customer review)


Family:  Aster (Asteraceae)

Hardy to Zones 6 to 9, otherwise grown as a spring-planted annual, 120 days to seed harvest

Annual or overwintering annual, native to the Mediterranean and widely naturalized.  Giant, shiny-leaved plant with distinct white variegations, producing bright purple flowers that engender hefty brown-black seeds.  Traditional usage (TWM): hepatoprotective, jaundice, hepatitis.  Plant prefers moist, rich soil and full sun to part shade.  Does very well at the coast, but can certainly be grown inland.  Best to sow seed in late summer, allow the rosette to overwinter, then harvest ripe seed the following year.  In zone 5 and lower it may be possible to direct seed in the very early spring and pull off a harvest by fall. At harvest, wear gloves, cut off the partially dried capitulae and drop in a bucket, further dry in the sun for a few days, then thresh with a stick until the seedhead is well broken apart, and screen and wind winnow until you get pure seed.  The plant is surprisingly seed productive and although it takes some work to get the goodies out, it is well worth it. Tap-rooted plant does poorly in pots and is best sown directly in the soil.  Plant all the seeds, because as nature would have it, some of them come up right away and some lie dormant to come up another day.  Thin to 3 feet apart in the row and 5 feet apart between the rows–if planted too densely, you will not be able to get in to get the seeds!

Packet contains 30 seeds
10 g contains ~500 seeds

Certified Organically Grown.  Not available to the state of Washington

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  1. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Alicia Wills

    Pretty Surprise

    Alicia Wills

    I planted these not expecting to see anything until the 2nd year (not sure where I got that misinformation) but I was pleasantly surprised to see the stalk come up and flower (I had already juiced some of the leaves from another plant that I had planted too close to thrive). The initial flower looked sickly so I just left it alone just to see how the whole process would play out. I was shocked a few weeks later to see several flowers seemingly coming from the same plant. Now that I have grown it and learned how to properly space it and deal with the spiky leaves, it will be a welcome addition to my new garden. Thanks so much for the good seed!

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