Cicerbita alpina

Primary tabs

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Description

Herb, perennial, 50-250 cm high. Flowering stems erect, ribbed, hollow, glandular above and hispid below, robust, unbranched or branched. Cauline leaves 8.0-25.0 cm long, 2.0-12.0 cm wide, dark green on upper surface, glaucous on lower surface. Lower cauline leaves runcinate or lyrate, denticulate, petiole-like attenuate with a winged petiole, glabrous; terminal lobe broadly triangular, acuminate; lateral lobes triangular. Middle and upper cauline leaves ovate or narrowly oblong, amplexicaul or petiole-like attenuate with a winged petiole, glabrous. Synflorescence paniculiform. Peduncle glandular. Involucre 10.0-15.0 mm long, at flowering 7.0-10.0 mm in diameter; involucral bracts linear, 10.0-15.0 mm long, 1.0-1.5 mm wide, obtuse, green and tinged purple, usually glandular. Receptacle flat, naked. Corolla ligulate, 15.0-18.0 mm long, pale blue to violet. Achenes cylindrical in outline, compressed, 4.5-5.0 mm long, with 5 prominent main ribs, attenuate. Pappus of simple bristles, c. 7.0 mm long.

Based on: Sell, P. and Murell, G. 2006: Flora of Great Britain and Ireland 4. – Cambridge (as Cicerbita alpina); Sell, P. D. 1976: 170. Cicerbita Wallr. - Pp. 331 in: Tutin, G. & al. (ed.), Flora Europaea 4. – Cambridge (as Cicerbita alpina).

Distribution

Europe: Albanianative (AlbanianativeA,B,C,D,E); Austrianative (AustrianativeC,F, LiechtensteinnativeG); Bulgarianative (BulgarianativeB,C,H,I,J); Czechoslovakianative (Czech RepublicnativeC,K,L,M,N, SlovakianativeC,K,L,O); Finlandnative (FinlandnativeC,P); FrancenativeC,Q,R,S,T; Germanynative (GermanynativeC,U,V,W); Great Britainnative (Great BritainnativeC); Greecenative (GreecenativeX,Y,Z); Icelandintroduced (IcelandintroducedAA); ItalynativeAB,AC,AD,AE,C; North European Russianative (North European RussianativeAF,AG); Norwaynative (NorwaynativeAH,C); Polandnative (PolandnativeAI,AJ,C); Romanianative (RomanianativeAK,AL,C); Spainnative (AndorranativeAM, SpainnativeAN,AO,AP,C,Q); Swedennative (SwedennativeAQ,AR,C); Switzerlandnative (SwitzerlandnativeAS,AT,C); Ukrainenative (UkrainenativeAF,AU,AV); Yugoslavianative (Bosnia-HerzegovinanativeAW,B, CroatianativeAX,B, MontenegronativeAY,B, SerbianativeAZ,B, SlovenianativeBA,BB)

Credits

Dürbye T. 2009: Images (2 added)

Common names

Albanian (Albania): Cicerbitë alpineBC,1; Bulgarian (Bulgaria): Алпийска цицербитаBD,1; Catalan; Valencian (Spain): Lletuga alpinaBE; Czech (Czech Republic): Mléčivec alpskýBF,1; Danish (Denmark): Fjeld-TurtBG,1; English (Great Britain): Alpine Blue-sow-thistleBH,1; Finnish (Finland): PohjansinivalvattiBG,1; French (France): Laiteron des montagnesBI,1, Laitue des AlpesBI,1, Mulgédie des AlpesBI,2; French (Switzerland): Cicerbite des AlpesBJ,1, Laitue-des-AlpesBJ,1; German (Germany): Alpen-MilchlattichBK,1; German (Switzerland): Alpen-MilchlattichBJ,1; Icelandic (Iceland): FjallablámiAA; Italian (Italy): Cicerbita violettaBL,1; Italian (Switzerland): Cicerbita violettaBJ,1; Norwegian (Norway): TurtBG,1; Polish (Poland): Modrzyk alpejskiBM,2, Modrzyk górskiBM,1; Spanish; Castilian (Spain): Lechuga de monteBE; Swedish (Sweden): TortaBN,1
1. recommended, 2. synonym

Uses

The tall perennial hemicryptophytic herb Cicerbita alpina developes in spring c. 0.5–1.2 cm thick shoots from its oblique rhizome, similar to asparagus. These young, c. 7–>10 cm long subterraneous shoots have traditionally been collected from wild plants and eaten in some areas of NE Italy, including the province of Trento, mainly under oil, and in the 21th century have also started to appear on local markets as "Insalata dell' orso" or "Radic di mont" (Scartezzini & al. 2012).

The shoots are rich in caffeic acid derivatives (chlorogenic acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, caffeoyltartric acid, and cichoric acid) known to possess a beneficial high radical scavenging activity (Fusani & Zidorn 2010). To avoid threatening the long-term survival of this species by collecting shoots from wild populations, cultivating the species has been explored in the recent years. Cultivation also aims at the selection of cultivars rich in antioxidants but with moderate levels of the bitter sesquiterpene lactone glucoside derivative of lactucin (8-O-Acetyl-15-b-D-glucopyranosyllactucin), which is also present in the shoots (Fusani & Zidorn 2010).

References


Fusani P. & Zidorn C. 2010: Phenolics and a sesquiterpene lactone in the edible shoots of Cicerbita alpina (L.) Wallroth. – J. Food Composition Analysis 23: 658–663. // ➪ // .

Scartezzini F., Fusani P., Aiello N. & Vender C. 2012: Domestication of Alpine blue-sow-thistle (Cicerbita alpina (L.) Wallr.): six year trial results. – Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 59: 465–471.

Bibliography

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