Eryngium campestre L.
2155 (4). Е. campestre L., Sp. Pl. ed. 1 (1753) 233; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc. I (1927) 969; Chater, Fl. Eur. II (1968) 323; Exs.: PI. Bulg. Exsicc. No 699 — Полски ветрогон, биволски трън
Fam: Umbelliferae Juss. (Apiaceae}
Genus: Erygeron L.
Species: Eryngium campestre L.
English Name: Field eryngo, Watling street thistle
Perennial. The plant is gray-green to bluish-green. Root cylindrical to spindle-bold, very long, deeply penetrating into the soil, sometimes more than 1 m, often stiff, brown, covered with fibrous scales at the top. Stem (20-) 30 - 70 (-100) cm high, 0.5 - 1 cm thick, erect, smooth or finely furrowed, dense, leafy, greyish, at the base unbranched, to the apex, and especially in the inflorescence zone, strongly spreading branched, often the whole plant in a broad outline hemispherical or spherical. Leaves firmly leathery, whitish-grayish on both sides, with a distinctly convex pale yellow reticulum. Basal leaves of young plants entire, prickly toothed, oblong to ovate oblong; of flowering plants complexly dissected, with 10 - 20 cm long petioles, petioles broadly ovate to nearly triangular, (5-) 10 - 25 (-30) cm long and so wide, palmately chopped to double-lobed, sliced or tripartite; the central share is pinnated divided, with the opposite perpendicularly pinnated divided second-order intermediate shares and the lateral sharess with successive pinnated divided intermediate shares; all shares uneven, deep, prickly or serrated, and running down into broadly winged prickly rickets. Stem leaves similar to the basal ones, but with short petioles or completely sat down, including the stem, with prickly serrated vaginas, to the apex with significantly smaller sizes and less dissected petals. Inflorescence yellowish-gray to bluish-green, pleiochasia of the heads at the apex of the stem, most often with 3 - 6 main rays; in the grooves of the uppermost leaves, the lateral pleochas are located on the long arms, most often with. 3 main rays, collectively forming a complex thyroid or hemispherical inflorescence with numerous heads. 5 - 7 petal head sheath, (1-) 1.5 - 4.5 cm long and 3 - 6 mm wide, 2 - 3 times longer than the heads, linearly lance or linear styliform pointed at the prickly tip, entire or with 2 – 4 spines at the edge and at the base with thin spiky bristles. Head (0.5-) 1 - 1.5 (-2.5) cm long, spherically ovoid, with 1 - 3 cm long petioles, with many blossoms, compact. Bracts 10 - 12 mm long, longer than the flowers, linearly subulate, entire, arcuate inwards. Sepals 2 - 2.5 mm long, lance, apex pointed at the tip in a rigid thorn. Petals whitish or greyish green, back heart-shaped, much shorter than the calyx. Fruits 5 mm long, flattened ovate to ovate, with lingering calyx. Mericarpies on the outside densely covered with numerous, whitish, lance flakes.
Var. campestre. E. campestre var. eucampestre H. WoHf and Engl., Pflanzenreich, Heft 61 (1913) 151; E. campestre var. genuinum Rouy et Camus, Fl. Fr. VII (1901) 219. Coiling leaves at the base of the heads linearly lance, with 2 - 4 spines on the edge. Basal leaves triangular, mostly tripartite, with double-lobed shares. Inflorescence gray-green or bluish-green.
F. campestre. E. campestre f. genuinum (Rouy et Camus) by H. Wolff and Engl., 1st c.; E. campestre f. typicum Michel., Bull. Soc. Bot. Ital. (1905) 234. Wrap leaves 5 - 6 mm wide. Distributed.
F. angusteinvolucratum Michel., 1. pp. The leaflets 3 - 4 mm wide. Distributed.
Var. virens (Link). Weiss, Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien XIX (1870) 50; E. virens Link (1834) 570; Hayek, 1st c. The sheaths at the base of the heads linearly subulate, entire. The base leaves are double-slit. Inflorescence yellowish green. Struma valley (Petrichko) and Thracian lowland (Plovdiv, Haskovo).
Economic importance. Medical plant. The roots are rich in sugars (saccarose up to 9% and other oligosaccharides about 5 - 6%), have a pleasant taste and aroma. The roots contain triterpene saponins derived from borrigenol. The aerial parts and the seeds contain essential oil with a pleasant aroma of amber and musk. The leaves contain 163 mg% of vitamin C, phenolic acids (chlorogenic and rosemary) and other organic acids. In official medicine, Radix Eryngii roots are used as a drug mainly as a diuretic. In our folk medicine, the decoction of the plant is used in kidney diseases. Young shoots are used for food as salad. Honey - Gives a lot of nectar and golden yellow honey. It is also grown as an ornamental plant.
From: „Флора на Н. Р. България”, VIII, БАН, София, (1982)
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Eryngium campestre, known as field eryngo, or Watling Street thistle, is a species of Eryngium, which is used medicinally. A member of the family Apiaceae, eryngo is a hairless, thorny perennial plant. The leaves are tough and stiff, whitish-green. The basal leaves are long-stalked, pinnate and spiny. The leaves of this plant are mined by the gall fly, Euleia heraclei.
Eryngium campestre is a stiff, hairless, prickly perennial plant. It resembles the better known sea holly (Eryngium maritimum), but is taller and less robust, and the stem and leaves are paler and not bluish-green. The palmate leaves have more slender lobes which are tipped with spines, and the bracts below the flower heads are slender.The stems are thinner, the branches are longer and the globular flower heads are white and much smaller than the sea holly. This plant flowers between July and September.
Distribution and habitat
Eryngium campestre has a mainly Central and Southern Europe distribution, north to Germany and Holland. It is common in many places but in Germany it is restricted to dry habitats near the Rivers Rhine and Elbe. It is very uncommon in dry grassland on neutral or calcareous soils in the southeast of the British Isles, having first been recorded in 1662 by the naturalist John Ray in Devon. It has statuary protection in Somerset and Devon and is persisting in several sites there, but elsewhere it is mostly a short-lived casual of waste ground, road verges and rough pastures.
Used in herbalism as an infusion to treat coughs, whooping cough and urinary infections. Roots were formerly candied as sweets or boiled and roasted as a vegetable.  The plants active constituents are essential oils, saponins, tannins.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Flowering Time: Blooms: VII - VIII.
Distribution in Bulgaria: Growing on dry grassy and rocky places, on pastures and dry meadows, on sines, riverside terraces, along roads, railways, and in ruderalized places, and less often on shrubs, in the plains and foothills. It is also found as a weed in trench crops, orchards and vineyards. Widespread, from sea level up to 900 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.
Distribution: Central and Southern Europe (north to south of England), Mediterranean, Caucasus and southwestern Asia. Moved to North America.
Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act - http://eea.government.bg/bg/legislation/biodiversity/zbran_22.08.15.pdf
Medical plant: yes, it is medical plant - Medicinal Plants Act - http://eea.government.bg/bg/legislation/biodiversity/ZLR_en.pdf
References: „Флора на Н. Р. България”, VIII, БАН, София, (1982), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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