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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Asterales

Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Carduoideae
Tribus: Cardueae
Subtribus: Carduinae
Genus: Cynara
Species: C. algarbiensis - C. auranitica - C. baetica - C. cardunculus - C. cornigera – C. cyrenaica – C. humilis – C. makrisii – C. scolymus – C. syriaca – C. tournefortii

Nothospecies: C. × gaditana – C. × pacensis


Cynara L., Sp. Pl. 2: 827. (1753)

Type species: Cynara cardunculus L.


Arcyna Wiklund, 2003: 63
Bourgaea Coss., Notes Pl. Crit.: 39. 1849.
Cinara Mill., Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4 (sub Artichoke) (1754).

Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 827. Reference page.

Additional references

Hand, R., & Hadjikyriakou, G. 2009. Cynara makrisii (Asteraceae, Cardueae), a new artichoke species in Cyprus. Willdenowia 39 (1): 77–81. DOI: 10.3372/wi.39.39108 Reference page.
Robba, L., Carine, M. A., Russell, S. J., & Raimondo, F. M. 2005. The monophyly and evolution of Cynara L. (Asteraceae) sensu lato: evidence from the Internal Transcribed Spacer region of nrDNA. Plant Systematics and Evolution 253 (1-4): 53-64. DOI: 10.1007/s00606-004-0259-3 Reference page.
Wiklund, A. 1992. The genus Cynara L. (Asteraceae-Cardueae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 109 (1): 75-123. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.1992.tb00260.x Reference page.


Euro+Med 2006 onwards: Cynara in Euro+Med PlantBase – the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Apr. 10.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. 10 in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Apr.. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Cynara. Published online. Accessed: Apr. 10 2021.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Artişok
беларуская: Артышок
dansk: Kardon-slægten
English: Cardoon
suomi: Artisokat
polski: Karczoch
русский: Артишок
slovenčina: Artičok
svenska: Kronärtskockssläktet

Cynara is a genus of thistle-like perennial plants in the sunflower family. They are native to the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, northwestern Africa, and the Canary Islands. The genus name comes from the Greek kynara, which means "artichoke".[2]

Among the better known species in this genus include:

Cynara cardunculus is the cardoon, artichoke thistle, or wild artichoke. The stems of cultivated varieties are used as food around the Mediterranean. It is a common source of a coagulant used as an alternative to rennet in the manufacture of cheese, with the advantage that the cheese is then fully suitable for vegetarians; many southern European cheeses are traditionally made in this way. The more commonly eaten globe artichoke is usually considered to be an ancient cultigen of this plant. Cardoon is an invasive species in United States, Argentina, and Australia.
Cynara humilis is a wild thistle of southern Europe and north Africa which can be used in cheesemaking like C. cardunculus.[3]
Cynara scolymus (syn. C. cardunculus var. scolymus) is the common edible globe artichoke. It differs from C. cardunculus in that the leaf lobes and inner bracts of involucre are less spiny.
Cynara cornigera leaves and flowers are eaten raw or cooked in Crete.[4]

Cynara species are used as food plants by the larvae of many lepidopterans, such as the artichoke plume moth (Platyptilia carduidactyla), a pest of artichoke crops.[5]

C. cardunculus is being developed as a new bioenergy crop in the Mediterranean because of its high biomass and seed oil yields even under harsh conditions.[6][7]

The genus consists of the following species:[1][8]

Cynara algarbiensis - Spain, Portugal
Cynara auranitica - Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Turkey
Cynara baetica - Spain, Morocco
Cynara cardunculus - cardoon - Mediterranean; naturalized in other regions
Cynara cornigera - Greece, Libya, Cyprus, Egypt, Libya
Cynara cyrenaica - Crete, Libya, Cyprus
Cynara humilis - Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, Canary Islands
Cynara makrisii[9]
Cynara scolymus (syn. C. cardunculus var. scolymus) - artichoke - area of origins unclear but probably Mediterranean; widely cultivated and naturalized
Cynara syriaca - Cyprus, Iran, Lebanon, Syria
Cynara tournefortii - Morocco, Spain, Portugal


Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
Cynara. Flora of North America.
Vioque, M., et al. (2000). Chemical and microbiological characteristics of ewes' milk cheese manufactured with extracts from flowers of Cynara cardunculus and Cynara humilis as coagulants. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48(2), 451-56.
Kyriazopoulos, A. P., et al. Edible plant species in rangeland ecosystems of Crete, Greece,itzerland.html">Switzerland.[permanent dead link] In: Grassland farming and land management systems in mountainous regions. Proceedings of the 16th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation, Gumpenstein, Austria, 29–31 August 2011. pp. 505-07.
Artichoke Plume Moth, Platyptilia carduidactyla. Integrated Pest Management. University of California. Updated 2009.
Fernández, J., et al. (2006). Industrial applications of Cynara cardunculus L. for energy and other uses. Industrial Crops and Products 24, 222–29.
The seed characteristics, seed composition, and allometric relationships predicting seed yields in the biomass crop Cynara cardunculus. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. 2-3, 113-129.
Cynara. The Plant List.
Hand, R. and G. Hadjikyriakou. (2009). Cynara makrisii (Asteraceae, Cardueae), a new artichoke species in Cyprus. Willdenowia 39(1) 77-81.

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