Silybum marianum is a member of the Asteraceae family of plants. It is an annual or biennial plant native to Southern Europe to Asia. It is also known as Cardus marinas, Saint Mary’s Thistle, Blessed Milk thistle, Milk thistle, Marian Thistle, Mediterranean Milk Thistle, Scotch Thistle, or Variegated Thistle. It can grow up to 2m or 79in. The leaves are medium green oblong to lanceolate and lobate or pinnate and spiny. Silybum marianum is thorny.
Silybum marianum flower in the summer and the flowers are purple and about 10cm or 4in. at most. Milk Thistle or Silybum marianum is used for medicinal purposes. It has been researched for purposes of liver disease and cancer. The plant can be toxic to cattle and sheep.
Plant it in the full sun in poor or normal but well-drained soil. Propagate by seed. No pruning necessary. It is pest-free and disease-free.