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Silybum marianum

Silybum marianum
Common name Mary's thistle, milk thistle
Family asteraceae
Life cycle biennial
Flowers see below
Size foliage to 12", flowers to 24"
Light full sun-part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil
From seed easy, germinates at room temperature
Flowers first year from seed sown indoors early.
detailed seed-starting info below

Strikingly variegated foliage. Self-sowed for me in fall of the year it flowered, but seedlings did not survive winter.

All references I've found online show pink/purple flowers. Mine flowers white (actually, I'd prefer the more colorful blooms); a different species, or just a different variety? When started indoors, this flowers in its first year.

Mary's thistle, milk thistle

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed garden '02. Baggy, 65F (100%G, 4d)
  2. Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (100%G, 4d)

Seed apparently remains viable for years. Quick to grow, don't start too early.

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