Thistles

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McGregorUS
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Thistles

There are so many species from such a lot of genera that I thought I'd start a board that was more general - Panayoti and others have been rapping on spiny plants on the Cactus discussions and I love pricklies (although Monica doesn't so I have to keep them out of touch with one another) but above all I think thistles of all sorts are the great gems. So here's a starter pack from northern Morocco. IDs are sometimes uncertain but I think they are just so good.

Mark McD
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Joined: 2009-12-14

Beautiful architectural form on this spiny creatures; the closeup photo of Cynara shows such playful and colorful construction.  I could almost make an exception on my "no-spiny-or-thorny-plants-in-my-garden" rule to grow an Eryngium like that; I wonder what species it is.  Echinops are a fairly standard nursery offering here so far as perennials go; not sure what species your photo represents, but it is a beauty.  As far as I'm aware, the Echinops cultivars sold as perennials are not prone to invasiveness.

One of the worst invasive pests here is Cirsium vulgare or Bull Thistle... I dig them out whenever I see them.  The silky fluffy seed parachutes are a most effective means of seed dispersal as they slowly float away, perhaps for miles, in the slightest breeze.
http://www.invasive.org/species/subject.cfm?sub=3393

Googling Cynara, that's an interesting family... from the edible Globe Artichoke to several species that get used in the cheese-making process, as well as the customary invasive species, like C. cardunculus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynara

Malcolm, are all of these photographed in the wild?  And if so, where?

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

If you don't like spines you can have them like this. I found it high up in Turkey. The Echinops is also from Turkey, a small island in Lake Van (an interesting salt lake in eastern Turkey).

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

McGregorUS
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Hoy

Love the Carduus - a wonderful rosette although I'm afraid that the lack of prickles is a bit disappointing for me - a bit like a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary. And the Echinops is great - Lake Van - that's a place I have on my list.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

Lori S.
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Joined: 2009-10-27

Trond, I wonder if the first might possibly be a Carduncellus?  (It's rather reminiscent of Carduncellus pinnatus, which I grow).
For comparison:
http://www.nargs.org/nargswiki/tiki-browse_image.php?imageId=698

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

McGregorUS
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Mark

All the photographs were taken in northern Morocco around the Rif mountains from just south of Tetouan eastwards as far as Taza.

and here is another one from the Taza area that I haven't got a genus for - if anyone can help

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

McGregorUS
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Lori

That's brilliant - it looks like the picture I've just posted might be your Carduncellus which is in the north Moroccan flora. Thanks.

But your querying of Trond's Carduus made me wonder about it being an Atractylis species.

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

McGregor wrote:

That's brilliant - it looks like the picture I've just posted might be your Carduncellus which is in the north Moroccan flora. Thanks.
But your querying of Trond's Carduus made me wonder about it being an Atractylis species.

I remember when I subscribed to the MacPhail & Watson expedition to Turkey, one of the goal plants was Echinops emiliae, for which I received seed but no germination

There are other possibilities too, Jurinea comes to mind.  One introduced by Mac&W is Jurinella moschus ssp. pinnatisectus, I believe this is still in cultivation.  Just did some armchair botanizing to look as a few more of the fantastic sea urchin dwarf thistles, even Centaurea comes to mind.  Here are some links, even including a couple more compact Carduus species:

Jurinea humilis
http://www.vidasilvestreiberica.org/es/content/jurinea-humilis
http://tolweb.org/onlinecontributors/app?page=ViewImageData&service=exte...
Gallery
http://sophy.u-3mrs.fr/photohtm/SI986.HTM

Jurinea subacaulis
http://www.skalnicky.cz/jpeg/Jurinea%20subacaulis.jpg

Jurinea cadmea
http://www.peterkornstradgard.se/bilder_06/jurinea_cadmea.jpg

Carduus aurosicus (most are tall, here's a couple that are more compact)
http://sophy.u-3mrs.fr/photohtm/SI524.HTM

Carduus carlinoides
http://sophy.u-3mrs.fr/photohtm/SI30015.HTM

Centaurea calcitrapa
http://sophy.u-3mrs.fr/photohtm/SI572.HTM

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

You got me think! I have done a little "research" and Jurinella moschus ssp pinnatisecta looks very similar. (I consulted "The most beautiful flowers of Turkey" of Erdogan Tekin.)
Unfortunately I found no ripe seeds (It is from 3000m and probably hardy at least in a dry climate.)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Well, Mark, you are not convinced? The picture in my flora is not quite like those you show, and I don't know what's correct. It is not easy to determine a species from pictures only anyway.

Here's another I haven't name for. Suggestions? (It is from Mt Kenya)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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