Thistle (Scolymus hispanicus)

Cardo de olla or tagarnina, among many other names, is a herbaceous plant of the Asteraceae family. It is well known in the rural environment and is edible and very tasty in stews, cabbage, scrambled eggs and even in soups and salads.


Picking thistle or tagarninas in the countryside, besides the exercise and the pleasure of enjoying our environment, will give you the opportunity to taste an excellent product from the gastronomic point of view.

Distribution and habitat

The thistle inhabits grasslands, uncultivated meadows and wastelands, especially on land that is not too compact, and near streams. The plant is also not uncommon in ditches and borders, where it often goes unnoticed by the thickness of the rest of the vegetation for those who are not expressly dedicated to observe or collect them. The appearance of the rosette, with leaves applied to the ground, helps to defend it from the teeth of cattle.


It is edible and very tasty in stews: tagarninas stew, also in scrambled eggs and even in soups and salads.

Thistles have the same compounds as most thistles and related species, including inulin – a natural sugar especially suitable for diabetics – and various medicinal substances, with virtues similar to those of the stalk thistles – for example, as diuretics (it has been found that thistle extract doubles, even quadruples, the volume of bile excreted in half an hour), liver protectors, etc.