cardoon USDA PLANTS Symbol: CYCA
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Forbs/Herbs
Cynara cardunculus L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Asterales: Asteraceae
Synonym(s): artichoke thistle, wild artichoke
Native Range: s. Europe (BAIL);

Appearance
Cynara cardunculus is a perennial herb that can grow up to about 5 ft. (1.5 m) tall.
Foliage
Stems are leafy, erect, and branched. Leaves are basal until bolting, then cauline leaves that are alternate, spiny, and gray green and cobwebby on the upper surface, are seen on the flower stalks.
Flowers
Flower heads are discoid, large, and seen in loose clusters on top of the stalk. The involucres are hemispheric, 2 in. (5 cm) in diameter having stout spines at the tips. Flowers are purple to blue, slender tubes, and linear.
Fruit
Fruits are white to brownish, cylindrical, compressed with many stiff bristles, 1-1.5 in. (2.5-3.8 cm), plumose below, and attached at base.
Ecological Threat
Cynara cardunculus prefers disturbed areas such as grassland, coastal scrubs, and fields. It is native to the Mediterranean.

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Plant(s);
Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s);
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Inflorescence(s); Inflorescence.
Lyndon Photography, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Inflorescence(s); Inflorescence, top view.
Lyndon Photography, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Inflorescence(s); Inflorescences, brown.
Lyndon Photography, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.


Invasive Listing Sources:
California Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.