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Artichoke flower head
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cardueae
Cass. (1819)[1][2]



The Cardueae are a tribe of flowering plants in the daisy family (Asteraceae) and the subfamily Carduoideae.[5] Most of them are commonly known as thistles;[6] four of the best known genera are Carduus,[7] Cynara (containing the widely eaten artichoke), Cirsium,[7] and Onopordum.[7]

They are annual, biennial, or perennial herbs. Many species are thorny on leaves, stems, or involucre, and some have laticifers or resin conduits. Almost 80 genera comprising 2500 species are assigned to this tribe,[8] native of temperate regions of Europe and Asia (especially the Mediterranean region and Minor Asia), Australia and tropical Africa; only three[9] genera contain species native to the Americas.[10]


The correct name for the tribe has been disputed. In 1806, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Augustin Pyramus de Candolle published the name Cynarocephalae. This is a descriptive name, referring to the bluish colour of the flower heads. Such descriptive names for tribes are not valid under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, which requires them to be based on a generic name. The name has been corrected by some authors to Cynareae, but this was not the name that was published in 1806. Christian Friedrich Lessing published Cynareae in 1830, but Henri Cassini had already published Cardueae in 1819, and as Lessing included Carduus in Cynareae, his name was superfluous.[4][2]

Some authors have divided the plants traditionally held to be in this tribe into three tribes: Cynareae in the narrow sense, Carlineae, and Echinopeae. However, other authors have retained the traditional broader classification.[11]

Subtribes and genera[edit]


  1. ^ a b Compositae Working Group (CWG), "Cardueae Cass.", Global Compositae Database, retrieved 2023-05-12
  2. ^ a b c "trib. Cynareae Less." The International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  3. ^ Susanna, Alfonso.; Garcia-Jacas, Núria; Hidalgo, Oriane; Vilatersana, Roser; Garnatje, Teresa (2006). "THE CARDUEAE (COMPOSITAE) REVISITED: INSIGHTS FROM ITS, trnL-trnF, AND matK NUCLEAR AND CHLOROPLAST DNA ANALYSIS1, 2" (PDF). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 93: 150–171. doi:10.3417/0026-6493(2006)93[150:TCCRIF]2.0.CO;2. hdl:10261/29764.
  4. ^ a b "trib. Cynarocephalae Lam. & DC." The International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  5. ^ Panero, JL; VA Funk (2002-12-30). "Toward a phylogenetic subfamilial classification for the Compositae (Asteraceae)" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 115 (4). Biological Society of Washington: 909–922. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  6. ^ "Cardueae". Tree of Life webproject. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  7. ^ a b c "thistle". Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  8. ^ Dittrich, 1977, The Biology and Chemistry of the Compositae 2:1017-1038
  9. ^ "Cirsium". Flora of North America.
  10. ^ Bremer 1994 Asteraceae: Cladistic and Classification [Tribe Carduae: 112-156]
  11. ^ "tribe Cynareae". Flora of North America. Retrieved 2008-01-04.