The Cynareae are a tribe of flowering plants in the daisy family (Asteraceae). Most of them are commonly known as thistles;[3] four of the best known genera are Carduus,[4] Cynara (containing the widely eaten artichoke), Cirsium,[4] and Onopordum.[4]

They are annual, biennial or perennial herbs. Many species are thorny on leaves, stems or involucre, and some have laticifers or resin conduits. Almost 80 genera with 2500 species are assigned to this tribe,[5] native of tempered regions of Europe and Asia (specially of the Mediterranean region and Minor Asia), some of Australia and tropical Africa; only three[6] genera have native species of America.[7]


Cardueae is a synonym for Cynareae,[8] but the name Cynareae was published almost a decade earlier and so has precedence.

Some authors have divided the plants traditionally held to be in this tribe into three tribes: Cynareae in the narrow sense, Carlineae, and Echinopeae. However, other authors have retained the traditional broader classification.[8]


  1. ^ Panero, JL; VA Funk (2002-12-30). "Toward a phylogenetic subfamilial classification for the Compositae (Asteraceae)". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (Biological Society of Washington) 115 (4): 909–922. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  2. ^ Susanna, Alfonso.; Garcia-Jacas, Núria; Hidalgo, Oriane; Vilatersana, Roser; Garnatje, Teresa (2006). "THE CARDUEAE (COMPOSITAE) REVISITED: INSIGHTS FROM ITS, trnL-trnF, AND matK NUCLEAR AND CHLOROPLAST DNA ANALYSIS1, 2". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 93: 150. doi:10.3417/0026-6493(2006)93[150:TCCRIF]2.0.CO;2. 
  3. ^ "Cardueae". Tree of Life webproject. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  4. ^ a b c "thistle". Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  5. ^ Dittrich, 1977, The Biology and Chemistry of the Compositae 2:1017-1038
  6. ^ "Cirsium". Flora of North America. 
  7. ^ Bremer 1994 Asteraceae: Cladistic and Classification [Tribe Carduae: 112-156]
  8. ^ a b "tribe Cynareae". Flora of North America. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
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