Seedheads of Artichoke Thistle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cynara

Cynara alba
Cynara algarbiensis
Cynara auranitica
Cynara baetica
Cynara cardunculus
Cynara cornigera
Cynara cyrenaica
Cynara humilis
Cynara hystrix
Cynara scolymus
Cynara syriaca
Note that this list may include some synonyms

Cynara is a genus of about 10 species of thistle-like perennial plants in the family Asteraceae, originally from the Mediterranean region, northwestern Africa, and the Canary Islands.

Cynara species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Angle Shades and Double-striped Pug.

Among the species in this genus are:

  • Cynara cardunculus is the Cardoon or Artichoke thistle or Wild artichoke. The stems of cultivated varieties are used as food around the Mediterranean. It is a common source of a coagulant used as an alternative to rennet in the manufacture of cheese, with the advantage that the cheese is then fully suitable for vegetarians; many southern European cheeses are traditionally made in this way. The edible Globe Artichoke is usually considered to be an ancient cultigen of this plant. As an introduced species in California, Argentina, and Australia, it is a major pest.
  • Cynara humilis, a wild thistle of southern Europe and north Africa, traditionally used as a food by the Berbers. Like C. cardunculus, it can also be used in cheese-making.
  • Cynara scolymus is the edible Globe Artichoke. It differs from C. cardunculus in that the leaf lobes and inner bracts of involucre are less spiny.
  • Cynara cornigera is a very spiny mediterranean species thriving also in the Greek island of Crete where it is called agriagginara (αγριαγκινάρα) and its leaves and "heads" are eaten raw (after peeling), boiled, steamed or browned by the locals. In Greece since antiquity has been used for the cure of problems in liver, as stimulant and as an aphrodisiac potion. According to the ancient Greek gastronomer Athenaeus of Naukratis the leaves of the species can be peeled and eaten raw but because of their bitterish taste it is better if they are kept in brine.



C. cardunculus

C. cardunculus is being developed as a new bioenergy crop in the Mediterranean because of its high biomass and seed oil yields even under harsh conditions.[1] The seed contains approximately 23% oil, which is lower than common annual oil seed crops (sunflower, rapeseed) growing in the Mediterranean region for biodiesel production.[2]


  1. ^ Fernández J, Curt M, Aguado PL (2006) Industrial applications of Cynara cardunculus L. for energy and other uses. Industrial Crops and Products, 24, 222–229.
  2. ^ Archontoulis SV, , Struik PC, Yin X, Bastiaans L, Vos J, Danalatos NG (2010) Inflorescence characteristics, seed composition, and allometric relationships predicting seed yields in the biomass crop Cynara cardunculus. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. 2-3, 113-129.
  • Mabberley, D.J. 1987. The Plant Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 706 p. ISBN 0-521-34060-8.
  • Robbins, W.W., M. K. Bellue, and W. S. Ball. 1970. Weeds of California. State of California, Dept. of Agriculture. 547 p.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cynara — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Cynara Cynara cardunculus Clasif …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cynara — Cynara …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cynăra — (C. L.), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Compositae Cynareae Carduineae, 19. Kl. 1. Ordn. L., Disteln Ok.; Arten: C. cardunculus, spanische Artischocke; C. scolimus, gemeine Artischocke, s. Artischocke …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cynăra — L, (Artischocke), Gattung der Kompositen, distelartige Kräuter mit großen, dornigen, fiederteiligen Blättern, sehr großen, distelartigen Blütenköpfen, an der Basis dicken fleischigen, an der Spitze stachelspitzigen Hüllkelchblättern,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cynara — Cynăra L., Pflanzengattg. der Kompositen, distelähnliche Gewächse. Die jungen Blütenköpfe von C. scolȳmus L. (Artischocke [Abb. 381]), im südl. Europa kultiviert, dienen als Gemüse, bes. der fleischige Fruchtboden (Käse); ebenso die fleischigen… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cynara — es un género de unas 10 especies de plantas perennes parecidas a los cardos dentro de la familia Asteraceae, originalmente procedentes del Mediterráneo, Noroeste de África, y de las islas Canarias …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cynara — Cynara,   Artischocke.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • CYNARA — Aegaei maris insula. Plin. l. 4. c. 12. Zenara Nigro. Hinc Cynareus, Statius, l. 5. Sylv. 1. v. 214. Coryciaeque comae, Cynareaque germina …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Cynara — Artischocken Blühende Artischocke (Cynara cardunculus) Systematik Unterklasse: Asternähnliche (Asterdae) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cynara —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Cynara (film).  Cynara …   Wikipédia en Français

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