A tall, fast growing annual thistle with white speckled spikey leaves and purple headed flowers, it is a medicinal herb used to support the liver.
- Attractive herb
- Good for a wildflower garden
- Loved by bees and insects
- Fast growing
Milk thistle helps rejuvenate the liver and supports it by protecting it from damaging substances and is often prescribed by herbalists for livers suffering alcohol damage, hepatitis and cirrhosis. All parts of the plant are edible, but the leaves are truly spikey and need careful handling. The seed is the most beneficial part of the herb and can be harvested ground and eaten.
- Height: 100-150cm
- Type: Hardy
- Aspect: Sun
- Soil: Any/alkaline
- Flower colour: Purple
- Flowering period: July - August
This fast growing hardy annual loves a well-drained rich soil and plenty of sun. It grows tall so needs plenty of space, but can be grown in a container though it will be a lot smaller. A word of warning, this is a very prickly customer so don't grow it close to areas where there is people movement (unless you want to keep them out!). The seed heads will break apart in autumn and the seeds float away on their individual parachutes, so collect them before this if you want some to re-sow the following year.
Traditionally crushed seeds are infused to make a cooling bitter tasting tea that increases breast milk in nursing mothers.
It is commonly taken to treat the liver and gallbladder or over indulgence.
The seeds are harvested when the petals turn brown, by cutting the individual flowers from the stems; it is advisable to wear protective gloves when doing this. The flower heads should then be put in a paper bag and shaken daily. The seeds will collect at the bottom of the bag.
Herbs are usually dispatched between Mondays and Thursdays via a 24hr courier service, within 2-4 days of placing your order. Please note that at some points of the year during busy peaks it may take a little longer.
1 - 24 herbs - £5.60
25+ herbs - free delivery
Please note there are additional surcharges for delivery to some postcodes in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Isle of Wight and Scilly Isles - this will be calculated at the checkout based on the delivery address postcode. Unfortunately due to Brexit we are unable to ship to Northern Island currently.
Our herbs are packaged securely in recycled and recyclable blister packs and then into cardboard boxes, to ensure your plants to arrive in the best possible condition.
Further information about delivery can be found on our Ordering & delivery information page.
All our herbs are grown on the nursery and are dispatched labelled with their plant name and basic growing instructions
Our aim is to provide our customers with top quality herbs and service. We have worked hard to find a robust packing and delivery system that ensures your plants arrive at your door in the best condition.
We would ask that you check your herbs carefully when they arrive and report any problems to us either by phone or email within 48 hours so that we can rectify it. We may ask that you send us a photo.
We cannot accept responsibility for plants that have not been cared for or had unsuitable care.
Once an order has been placed you have the right to cancel your order up to the day of dispatch. As herbs are a perishable item we cannot accept returns in exchange for a refund.