Calcitrapa stellata Lam. Notes (Purple Star Thistle):

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.

Genesis 3 (KJV)

Worst of weeds, some species head high, some thistles are said to make nutritious vegetables, potherbs, and depuratives. Back in 1929, Temple, a London writer, in his Flowers and Trees of Palestine, said, probably of thistles in general, "Many of these thistles, which grow from 10 to 15 feet high (C. calcitrapa rarely attains 1 m in height; MPG), and briers are decided obstructionists to travelers who leave the beaten track, and are consequently described as noxious thorny plants." (Temple, 1929). Zohary does not specifically mention this species nor is it reported in the Flora of Palestine (FP3; ZOH). Hence, I fear I may have been too eager to accept earlier suggestions that this is one of the "thistles" of the Holy Land. I will bet it is there in Israel, if not mentioned in the Bible. Zohary, who surely would know more about the matter than I, suggests Centaurea iberica instead.

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