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Globular Cirsium vulgare flowering head with purple florets and spiny bracts
cirsium vulgare
Cirsium vulgare (Spear Thistle)

Native to Europe, northern Africa, western Asia, Pakistan, and China, it has become naturalized in various parts of the globe. It thrives primarily in temperate biomes, manifesting as a biennial plant​. Its de-spined parts being edible either raw or cooked with older leaves offering a bitter taste, which boiling can alleviate. The roots, particularly of the first-year rosette, can be consumed raw or cooked, with the latter method unlocking a sweetness akin to that of roasted vegetables. Regarded as an injurious weed in the UK and a noxious weed in Australia as well as part of the United States. On the medicinal front, its usage is often directed towards supporting the digestive and integumentary body systems, with common applications including astringent uses for runs and skin poultices. Photographed in Bogotá, Colombia.

Flower head with purple florets

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