Milk Thistle, (Silybum marianum)
Direct seed outdoors after last frost in spring or start transplants indoors 4-6 weeks before last spring frost. Cover seed with .5 cm of soil and keep lightly moist. Germination is 7-14 days.
Space plants 1 metre apart in their final location and watch them grow.
Allow flower heads to go to seed and collect the seeds for their medicinal value as a liver tonic. Large, showy plants reach 1 metre or more in height and produce beautiful spiny, purple flowers in late summer.
Glossy leaves have white veining making them a real standout in the herb or perennial garden. The seeds are traditionally used as a liver tonic.
Plants can be annual or biennial and prefer full sun. Start indoors or direct seed.