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  1. Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Carduus L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Temp. & Subtropical Eurasia, N. Africa to Tropical African Mountains.


    Compositae, G. V. Pope. Flora Zambesiaca 6:1. 1992

    Perennial or annual herbs.
    Stems erect, simple, or branched above, usually spiny-winged.
    Leaves usually decurrent on the stem, pinnatifid in the Flora Zambesiaca area (or undivided and serrate, or sinuate-dentate to 2-pinnatisect), spinescent at the margins.
    Capitula homogamous, discoid, in dense terminal clusters, sometimes solitary.
    Involucre globose or campanulate, glabrous to densely araneose; phyllaries imbricate in many series, ± deflexed in the upper part, coriaceous or scarious, narrowly lanceolate and spine-tipped, margins entire scabrous or ± ciliate (serrate or fimbriate).
    Receptacle flat or convex, pitted, densely setose.
    Florets hermaphrodite; corollas purple, pink or white, deeply 5-lobed (sometimes ± 2-lipped); anther bases sagittate, adjacent auricles connate and produced into an entire or lacerated tail; style shortly and obtusely 2-lobed, abruptly thickened below the fork with a ring of hairs below the thickening.
    Achenes glabrous, ovate-oblong, somewhat angled with a raised annular collar at the apex, attachment-scar basal and oblique or ± horizontal; pappus many-seriate of scabrid setae united at the base.

    Compositae, H. Beentje, C. Jeffrey & D.J.N. Hind. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2005

    Annual or perennial herbs
    Stems spiny-winged
    Leaves dentate-pinnatisect, spiny
    Capitula solitary, corymbose or variously clustered, often subtended by reduced, bract-like leaves; phyllaries multiseriate, the outermost shorter than the inner
    Florets sometimes with corolla slightly zygomorphic through one deeply split-off lobe; anther filaments pilose
    Achenes smooth, glabrous, with an apical rim; pappus of deciduous scabrid or barbellate bristles, basally connate in a ring.



    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Altay, Amur, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Burundi, Buryatiya, Cameroon, Canary Is., Central European Rus, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Inner Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuwait, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Madeira, Malawi, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Qinghai, Romania, Rwanda, Sardegna, Saudi Arabia, Sicilia, Sinai, South European Russi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Alabama, Alberta, Arizona, Arkansas, Bolivia, British Columbia, California, Cape Provinces, Chatham Is., Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, KwaZulu-Natal, Louisiana, Manitoba, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, New Zealand North, Newfoundland, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Provinces, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Saskatchewan, South Australia, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tasmania, Tennessee, Texas, Uruguay, Utah, Vermont, Victoria, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Western Australia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

    Accepted Species

    Other Data

    Carduus L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Brummitt, R.K. [15274], Canary Is. K001091173
    Rico, L. [1743], Armenia K000297258
    s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.], India K001132378


    First published in Sp. Pl.: 820 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.


    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • —F.T.A. 3: 433.

    Flora Zambesiaca

    • C. Jeffrey in Kew Bull. 22: 123 (1968).
    • Kazmi in Mitt. Bot. Staatss. Münch. 5: 279–550 (1964).
    • Kazmi in Mitt. Bot. Staatss. Münch. 5: 139–198 (1963)
    • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 358 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl. 2: 820 (1753)

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • K. Bremer, Asteraceae Clad. & Class.: 143 (1994)
    • C. Jeffrey in K.B. 22: 123 (1968)
    • Kazmi in Mitt. Bot. Staats. München 5: 296 (1964)
    • R.E. Fr. in Acta Horti Berg. 8: 11–44 (1923)
    • Sp. Pl.: 820 (1753)


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.