by Stephen Mifsud
   25 Jul 2024      ()
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Scolymus maculatus   (Spotted Golden Thistle)

Scolymus maculatus  (ASTERACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Scolymus maculatus - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 25-Jul-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Scolymus maculatusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. : 813 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Scolymus paniculatus Ucria
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl (=Compositae) (The Daisy or Sunflower Family)
123 species from the Asteraceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Spotted Golden Thistle, Spotted Golden Thistle, Spotted Oyster Plant

Maltese name(s) :

Xewk isfar tar-riga bajda

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

April – July

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

maculatus: From the Latin word 'macula' meaning stained or spotted. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Clayey soil, mostly in hill slopes, abandoned fields, steppe, and coastal ground
Botanical Description: Annual 15-90 cm, nearly glabrous, the continuous, irregularly spinose-dentate wings of the stem and the leaves with strongly thickened white margins. Leaves 40-200 x 20-80 mm; basal oblanceolate, soft, pinnatifid, with few spines; cauline rigid, oblong-lanceolate to ovate, sinuate-pinnatifid, spiny, the uppermost regularly pectinate-spiny. Panicle subcorymbose. Involucre 12-18 x 8-12 mm; bracts ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, acute. Receptacular scales not narrowed at apex. Achenes 2.5-4 mm, obovate; pappus absent.
Chromosome number: 2n=20
Distributional range: S. Europe

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Doubtful in Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), Portugal, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part), Introduced in  ex-Jugoslavia
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
AE(G) Ag Bl(M N) Bu dCa(C F G L P T) ?Ca(H) Cr ?Ct Cy Eg Ga(F) Gr Hs(G S) Ir It ?Jo Le Lu Ma dMd(M P) Sa Si(M S) Sy Tn Tu(A E) ?Uk(K) [aBe(B) aBr aGe Ju]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (13 images)
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-0.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-1.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-2.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-3.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-4.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-5.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-6.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-7.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-8.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-9.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-10.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-11.
   Scolymus maculatus   -   Image Code: SLYMA-12.

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