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Seed tufts beginning to disperse in the wind.
Sunny meadow near Lake Lewisville, Tx.
In spite of their spines, thistles provide a very good wild salad green and cooked vegetable. You need thick gloves, a knife, and gloves to harvest them. From fall to early spring, gather the fleshy taproot and the large basal leaves. Scrub the roots and clip the spines from the leaves. Add both leaves and roots raw to salads, or steam them for a few minutes and serve with lemon and mted butter. Cooked, the leaf blades are a bit tough, but the thickened central vein is jucy and tender. The flavor of the cooked root resembles that of its relative the artichoke. The thick young flower stalk is also a tasty vegetable, if gathered in early spring before the flowers bloom. Trim off spines and perl off outer fibers. What is left is similar to celery and can be eaten raw or cooked. The large flower buds of C. horridulum can also be cooked and eaten.
Spotted on Jan 26, 2012
Submitted on May 30, 2012