Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Cicerbita alpina - (L.)Waller.

Common Name Blue Sow Thistle
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A very rare native of Scotland, growing on alpine rock in moist places[17].
Range Mountainous regions of C. Europe, including Britain, from Norway to the Pyrenees.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Cicerbita alpina Blue Sow Thistle


Cicerbita alpina Blue Sow Thistle

 

Translate this page:

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cicerbita alpina is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, beetles, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Lactuca alpina. Sonchus alpinus.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Stem
Edible Uses:

Young shoots and stems - raw[4, 105]. The skin is first removed, but the shoots are still rather bitter and unpalatable[4, K]. Older stems can also be peeled and eaten raw[105, 177, 183] but have a bitter taste[2].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiphlogistic  Diuretic

The leaves and milky sap were at one time often used in herbal medicine, though are seldom employed nowadays[4]. They are diuretic and are also applied externally to inflammations[4].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist well-drained humus rich neutral to acid light sandy soil and some shade[1, 187, 200]. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c[187].

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and do not let the compost dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring[188]. We have found it best to pot up the clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

(L.)Waller.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Maureen Ball   Tue Jun 27 2006

I wonder if you could possibly help me. My husband is desperately trying to find the scottish blue thistle, it has a large blue head and is said to encourage goldfinches to your garden. We have searched high and wide for this plant as we would like to have one in our garden as we love feeding wild birds and he especially wants to get this bird in the garden to watch. If you know where we could purchase one he would be thrilled to bits. Hoping to hear from you soon. Maureen Ball

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Cicerbita alpina  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.