Silybum: Blessed Thistle, Our Lady’s Milk Thistle

Height 1.2m (4ft)

Planting distance 60cm (2ft)

Flowers mid summer to early autumn

Any garden soil

Open sunny site

Hardy annual

The fast-growing Silybum marianum is chiefly cultivated for its striking foliage of ovate, glossy dark green and spiny leaves heavily marbled with white veins. They are carried in flat, wide-spreading rosettes topped from mid summer onwards with tall stems carrying deep violet-red thistle-like flowers.


Sow seeds in the flowering site in early spring or early autumn, just covering them with soil. Thin the seedlings to 60cm (2ft) apart. Any soil is suitable, at the back of a border or in a semi-wild garden in full sun.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Silybum: Blessed Thistle, Our Lady’s Milk Thistle


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