These seeds were collected from Silybum marianum, also known as Milk Thistle, and St. Marys Thistle. This biennial likes to live in full sun where it can get up to 6 feet tall. The purple flowers are on display from the middle of the summer until early fall. The roots can be eaten raw or cooked and the flavor resembles salsify. The leaves need to have their spiny strips removed and then they are used raw in salads or cooked in a number of dishes including a substitute for spinach. Some people eat the young buds. The stems can be eaten raw or cooked and are normally peeled before use. The seeds can be used to extract oil or they can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. This is a larval host plant for the Mylitta Crescent butterfly. USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 9.