Notobasis syriaca

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Syrian thistle
Notobasis syriaca.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Notobasis
Species: N. syriaca
Binomial name
Notobasis syriaca
  • Carduus syriacus L.
  • Cirsium syriacum (L.) Gaertn.
  • Cnicus syriacus (L.) Willd.
  • Cirsium bracteatum Link
  • Cirsium maculatum Moench
  • Cnicus syriacus (L.) Roth
  • Cnicus obvallatus Salzm. ex DC.

Notobasis syriaca, the Syrian thistle,[2] is a species in the thistle tribe within the Asteraceae. It is 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.[3]

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

It is naturalised in Australia.


  1. ^ Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Notobasis includes photos and distribution maps