The word cosca (pl. cosche in Italian and coschi in Sicilian) is a Sicilian word which refers to any plant – such as the artichoke or the thistle – whose spiny closely folded leaves symbolize the tightness of relationships between members of the Mafia. In the English language this is best described as a clan. It is often used as a synonym for a Mafia crime family. The equivalent in the 'Ndrangheta in Calabria is the 'ndrina.