from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small genus of composites, of the Mediterranean region, in many respects like the thistle, but having an involucre composed of thick, fleshy, spiny scales, and a remarkably thick, fleshy receptacle covered with numerous bristles.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. artichoke; cardoon
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In fact, an anticholesterol drug called cynara is derived from this herb.
Predictably most of the people commenting here (major exception: cynara: great comment) are ignoring your major points in favor of "what don't you understand about the word ILLEGAL" blather