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botanical name:
Scolymus hispanicus
Scolymus hispanicus © Deeproot Plant Base
common name:  Golden Thistle, Spanish Salsify, Spanish Oyster
family:  Asteraceae
characteristics: annual/biennial, evergreen
height: 0.80m
width: 0.50m
growth rate: medium
growth habit:
leaf colour: green
flower colour: golden
main season: Summer
edible symbol edible
aspect: full sun, part shade
conditions: dry soil, moist soil, sandy soil
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -18°C
USDA zone: 7 to 10
description:
Prickly biennial or perennial with sturdy erect and branching stem, with a milky sap. Forms a stout fleshy taproot. Alternate, stiff, leathery, pinnate leaves, the lobes making large spines. They are dark green with clear pale green viens and markings. Bright golden yellow flowers in summer.

cultivation:
Well drained, particularly sandy or rocky soil in sun. Tolerant of various conditions, poor soils and drought.

propagation:
From seed.

usage:
The root is edible as a cooked vegetable and is similar to scorzonera, with a sweet flavour. The flowers are sometimes used as a food colouring.

other notes:
Wildflower of the western Mediterranean area, occationally naturalised elsewhere.

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