I think it is a Thistle plant, isn’t it?

Please, help me to identify this plant. Do you think it is a thistle? The leaves of  this plant have sharp prickles on the margins. The flowerhead is purple. I am not a horticulturist, but I like to travel, and while traveling I see many interesting plants. It is very useful to know what they are, edible or poisonous, if I can touch them or better not. So, that’s how I learn 🙂

I will appreciate if you help me with the real names of these plants (scientific and common)

There are photos below. I believe those are similar plants, maybe just different species.

Thank you for your answers!

1. This plant I saw in France


2. This plant I saw in Australia

Thistle, travel in Australia

3.This plant I saw in Australia

Thistle, travel in Australia

Vice Professor Asked on October 8, 2016 in Herbs.
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  • 2 Answer(s)
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    French one looks like Milk thistle Silybum marianum. It has many other common names, such as Cardus Marianus, Blessed Milkthistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, Variegated thistle and Scotch thistle. This species is an annual or biennial plant of the Asteraceae family. This fairly typical thistle has red to purple flowers and shiny pale green leaves with white veins. Originally a native of Southern Europe through to Asia, it is now found throughout the world.

    Australian one is a weedy Cirsium vulgare.  Common name of this plant are: spear thistle, bull thistle, or common thistle. The plant is native throughout most of Europe, Western Asia , and northwestern Africa (Atlas Mountains). It is also naturalised in North America, Africa, and Australia and is an invasive weed in some areas.  Cirsium vulgare or common thistle is the national flower of Scotland.

    Vice Professor Answered on October 11, 2016.
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    I like this plant. In the language of flowers, Thistle is an ancient Celtic symbol of nobility of character as well as of birth, for the wounding or provocation of a thistle yields punishment.

    Silybum (milk thistle) is a genus of two species of thistles in the (daisy family). The name “milk thistle” derives from a feature of the leaves, which are prominently banded with splashes of white. Historically, these milky bands were said to be Mother Mary’s milk, and this is the origin of another common name, St. Mary’s thistle. The most widespread species is Silybum marianum, like on the first photo.

    For many centuries extracts of milk thistle have been recognized as “liver tonics.”  Milk thistle has been reported to have protective effects on the liver and to greatly improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), toxin-induced liver damage. Silymarin, which is found only in the seed shell has liver-protective and regenerative properties, as well as antioxidant effects. So, in general, it is a great herb!

    Doctor Answered on October 14, 2016.
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