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Common names

Albanian (Albania): RrëkuallA,1; Arabic (Lebanon): سْكوليمُسB,1; Arabic (Syria): سْكوليمُسC,1; Bulgarian (Bulgaria): СколимусD,1; French (Corse): ScolymeE,1; Hebrew (Israel): חוֹחַF,1, חוחF,1; Italian (Italy): CardognaG,1; Swedish (Sweden): TaggfibblorH,1; Ukrainian (Ukraine & Crimea): СколiмусI,1
1. recommended


Scolymus is a small, unmistakable genus of three species centred in the Mediterranean region. Its members are characterised by a perennial to annual habit with spinescent leaves (in the tribe otherwise only present in Gundelia) and sessile capitula; the capitula have a conical receptacle and its ovate receptacular scales (= paleae) enclose the achenes; the pappus if of a few bristles or missing (Vázquez 2000). The pollen of Scolymus is of the Cichorium type, widespread in the tribe, in its pattern of lacunae and ridges, but the ridges are fused completely, entirely prohibiting dehiscence of the germinating pollen (Blackmore 1982). The exine stratification resembles the Cichorium type but differs by the massive columellae within the ridges and the extreme thickness of the foot layer, and is otherwise only shared with Hymenonema (Blackmore 1981).


Blackmore S. 1981: Palynology and intergeneric relationships in subtribe Hyoseridinae (Compositae: Lactuceae). – Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 82: 1–13.

Blackmore S. 1982: A functional interpretation of Lactuceae (Compositae) pollen. – Pl. Syst. Evol. 141: 153–168.

Vázquez F. M. 2000: The genus Scolymus Tourn. ex L. (Asteraceae): taxonomy and distribution. – Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 58: 83–100. // ➪ //


Spiny annuals, biennials or perennials. Stems with spiny wings, simple or many ramified. Leaves alternate, pinnatifid, spiny-dentate, with prominent veins, scabrous to tomentose on the veins and glabrous to pubescent on the lamina; margins with yellow prominent veins. Capitula sessile, ligulate, axillary or terminal, with involucral leaves, in spike-like or raceme-like panicoid synflorescences. Involucre with many bracts in several rows, the inner herbaceous and longer than the outer, all very alike, membranous. Receptacle conical and somewhat short or elongate, paleaceous; paleae ovate, enclosing achenes. Ligules yellow to orange or white. Achenes dorsally compressed, the outer longer than the inner, enclosed by the receptacular scales (paleae). Pappus absent or of 2 to 5 stiff, scabrous bristles.

modified from Vázquez in Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 58: 84. 2000

Chromosome numbers

Diploids, x = 10.J


Africa: Algerianative; Azoresintroduced: naturalized; Canary Is.native; Egyptnative; Libyanative; Madeiranative; Tunisianative Asia-Temperate: Cyprusnative; East Aegean Is.native; Irannative; Iraqnative; Lebanon-Syrianative; North Caucasusnative; Palestinenative; Transcaucasusnative; Turkeynative Australasia: New South Walesintroduced; Northern Territoryintroduced; Queenslandintroduced; South Australiaintroduced; Victoriaintroduced Europe: Albanianative; Balearesnative; Belgiumintroduced: adventitious (casual); Bulgarianative; Corsenative; Greecenative; Kritinative; Krymnative; Polandintroduced: adventitious (casual); Portugalnative; Romanianative; Sardegnanative; Sicilynative; Spainnative; Switzerlandintroduced; Turkey-in-Europenative; Ukrainenative; Yugoslavianative Northern America: Alabamaintroduced; Californiaintroduced; New Yorkintroduced; North Carolinaintroduced; Pennsylvaniaintroduced Southern America: Argentina Northeastintroduced


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