Eryngium creticum, Field Eryngo,
Hebrew: חרחבינה מכחילה ,Arabic: قرصعنة

Scientific name:  Eryngium creticum Lam.
Common name:  Field Eryngo
Hebrew name:   חרחבינה מכחילה
Arabic name:   قرصعنة
Plant Family:  Umbelliferae / Apiaceae, סוככים

Flores, Israel, Eryngium creticum, Field Eryngo, חרחבינה מכחילה, قرصعنة

Life form:   Hemicryptophyte
Stems:  25-100 cm, erect, much-branched above
Leaves:  Alternate, rosette, dissected once, spinescent
Inflorescence:  Terminal, bluish, very diffuse; spreading, usually with 30-100 pedunculate, globose capitula
Flowers:  Light blue, white, globose capitula; 5-7 bracts, linear-lanceolate, 3-cuspidate; sepals ovate, mucronate
Fruits / pods:  Fruits elliptical to obovate; sparsely scaly, the scales not overlapping
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August
Habitat:  Batha, Phrygana
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:  Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Ephemeral

Eryngium creticum, Field Eryngo, חרחבינה מכחילה, قرصعنة


Derivation of the botanical name:
Eryngium , eryo, "woolly", yopyovio^, Eryngium creticum: literally explaining: a "Gorgon-like plant," but without identifying it with any known plant. Theophrastus' name for a spiny-leaved plant (sea holly).
creticum, from the island of Crete.
  • The standard author abbreviation Lam. is used to indicate Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744 – 1829), a French soldier, and botanist.
Hebrew: חרחבינה מכחילה, Charchevina - Makchila. The Hebrew name is based on the fact the plant grows in dry weather - the root name is H-R-V which means dry - and the second word means "turning blue". Although its weird name, the Charchevina is actually listed in the Mishna, the 2nd century books of Jewish practices, as one of the plants that are allowed as Passover bitter herbs (Passachim 2: 6, And these are the herbs with which a man discharges his obligation on Passover: 1 with Lettuce [Chazeret], with Tamka, with Charchevina, with Endives [Ulshin] and with Maror).
1. Chazeret. The Gemara identifies chazeret as chasah, the modern Hebrew word for lettuce, and there is little doubt that the Mishnaic chazeret is lettuce (Lactuca sativa),
2. Tamcha, whose specific identity is uncertain.
3. Charchevina.
4. Ulshin, translated as hindvei, is nearly universally understood to refer to endives.
5. Maror: merirta (Aramaic for maror), which seems to be Sonchus oleraceus.
It is a common weed, widespread in gardens, fallow fields, and roadsides in Israel.

Stems of Eryngium creticum are used for anti-cough and kidney inflammation, so dried stems are boiled and its water is drunk.
Eryngium creticum has been used in folk medicine in Jordan as a remedy for scorpion stings in the rural areas and as a hypoglycemic agent. (Jaghabir, M. Hypoglycemic effects of Eryngium creticum. Arch. Pharm. Res., 1991, 14 (4), 295-297).


Israel Flowers