Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
A new plant for us in 2012 - Milk Thistle is a tall annual or biennial plant with large spiny leaves mottled with white, and purple thistle type flowers in summer.
Milk Thistle is a native plant of North America and has been used by centuries by the American Indians for its health benefits.
The name “milk thistle” derives from two features of the leaves; they are mottled with splashes of white and they contain a milky sap.
Leaves stems and roots can all be used for medicinal purposes, however commercial Milk Thistle extract is made from the seeds of the plant.