60. Wild Artichoke

Amidst the fast-drying vegetation is a beautiful thistle that is currently bursting into multiple flowers of a most eye-catching electric neon-violet colour. This is the Wild Artichoke (M: Qaqocc tax-Xewk) and there is little danger that you will mistake this plant with the domestic "qaqocc" that many of us find an irresistible nibble. It's flowers, stalks and large leaves all bristle with long, sharp spines. The Wild Artichoke grows in open country, preferring clayey steppe and also garrigues. And while the spines deter would-be grazers, the flowers are an attraction for many insects.

Text by Victor Falzon.

Copyright to Birdlife Malta.

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