Scientific name: Cirsium species
What: stem, roots, leaf ribs
How: peel stem then eat raw or cooked; tea from leaves, stem; roots are boiled; large center leaf ribs are stripped from leaf and eaten raw.
When: spring, summer
Nutritional Value: some vitamins and minerals
Other uses: cordage from stem fibers
Dangers: Very prickly
Young bull thistle
Harvested mature thistle. Wear thick gloves.
The hollow stem. You want to peel away the stem's outer red-green layer.
Partially-peeled stem. The outer reddish-green layer easily splits away from the delicious inner light-green layer.
I'm told you can boil, peel and eat the thistle heads like artichokes but I have not tried this yet.