Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 171, Issue 1–4, pp 117–128 | Cite as

Life cycle and adaptive strategies of three non-annual, ruderalCardueae: Onopordum nervosum, Carthamus arborescens, andCirsium scabrum

  • C. Gálvez
  • J. E. Hernández Bermejo


The life cycle and autoecology of three Mediterranean thorny species,Onopordum nervosum (Iberian endemic),Cirsium scabrum (Western Mediterranean) andCarthamus arborescens (Iberian-North African), of potential use in agriculture as bioenergetic, forage or oil producing plants were studied. These threeCardueae spp. are good examples of ways in which Mediterranean plants adapt their typical annual cycle to avoid summer droughts.O. nervosum is a perennial, monocarpic, heliophilous species which flowers in early summer and grows even under the extreme xeric conditions of the Mediterranean summers. It is a basiphilous plant usually found in sandy-loamy and sandy-clayey-loamy soils with a marked geographical variability in its seed germination.C. scabrum is a perennial, monocarpic species which has a long life cycle, flowering in summer and growing only during the wet months. It is not well-adapted to droughts and is usually restricted to acid soils.C. arborescens is a perennial, polycarpic species which flowers in spring and dries up in summer. It is usually found in basic loamy-sandy or sandy-loamy soils poor in organic matter.

Key words

Angiosperms Asteraceae Cardueae Onopordum nervosum Carthamus arborescens Cirsium scabrum Life cycle adaptive strategies autoecology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Gálvez
    • 1
  • J. E. Hernández Bermejo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias y Recursos AgrícolasUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain

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