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Alpine sow-thistle

Cicerbita alpina

In the old days, the stems of the Alpine sow-thistle were cut into pieces and soaked in water to remove the bitterness of the flower. Then the plant was boiled and added to reindeer milk together with the sorrel or the mountain sorrel. The inner part of the stem was eaten as such or roasted over fire. Today, the stalks can be preserved by freezing.

The alpine sow-thistle is a perennial, which hibernates with the help of its solid rhizome. It may grow to be as high as one and a half metres. The plant blooms in July – August. The leaves are pinnate and almost bare on the top. The alpine sow-thistle grows in rather cool areas, favouring green marshes and highland birch forests.