Notobasis

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Notobasis
Notobasis syriaca.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Notobasis
Cass.
Species: N. syriaca
Binomial name
Notobasis syriaca
(L.) Cass.

Notobasis syriaca (Syrian Thistle), syn. Cirsium syriacum, Cnicus syriacus), the sole species in the genus Notobasis, is a thistle-like plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East, from Madeira, the Canary Islands, Morocco and Portugal east to Egypt, Iran and Azerbaijan.

It is an annual plant belonging to the semi-desert flora, growing to 30–100 cm tall. The leaves are spirally arranged on the stems, deeply lobed, grey-green with white veins, and sharp spines on the margins and apex. The flowers are purple, produced in a dense flowerhead (capitulum) 2 cm diameter, surrounded by several spiny basal bracts.

In the Greek island of Crete, where it is called agavanos (αγκάβανος), its tender shoots are peeled and eaten raw by the locals.

It is naturalised in Australia.

References[edit]

Flowerhead