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Green Artichoke Cynara cardunculus (Scolymus Group)

Previously known as:

  • Cynara scolymus
Phonetic Spelling
SIN-ah-rah kar-DUNK-yoo-lus
Description

Globe Artichoke plants bear much similarity to thistle, the leaves resembling a giant silver-green fern with flower stalks up to 5 ft tall.  While the unopened flower heads are traditionally harvested as a vegetable for the edible hearts within, these plants can be left to bloom revealing large, stunning, electric lavender flowers.

Artichokes do best in moist, rich, well-drained soil and full sun.  Space plants roughly 5 ft apart.  They may go dormant in hot summers and will die back in winter.  While they can live for many years and bloom year-round in frost-free climates, they can be grown as an annual for harvest in fall.  Mulch heavily to aid in winter survivability.

Descended from the Cardoon, grown for its edible leaf stalks, artichokes bear much similarity.  Artichokes have been bred for for taller growth, less spines, and larger, edible flowers.

More information on Cynara cardunculus.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#silver leaves#wildlife plant#edible flowers#nectar plant#showy leaves#cottage garden#vegetable garden#vegetable#pollinator plant#edible garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#silver leaves#wildlife plant#edible flowers#nectar plant#showy leaves#cottage garden#vegetable garden#vegetable#pollinator plant#edible garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cynara
    Species:
    cardunculus
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North Africa and Western Europe
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are attractive to pollinators.
    Edibility:
    The unopened buds can be eaten– once cooked, the base of the fleshy phyllaries (bracts) and the center heart are edible. The flowers can be made into tea.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Large, scaly flowers up to 7" grow on tall stalks, many smaller buds below a large terminal one. Buds can be harvested and eaten or allowed to bloom into bright purple, thistle-like flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Deeply lobed, jagged leaves that grow in 3' clumps.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators