Cynara scolymus


A spring treat, these Mediterranean native, perennial vegetables grow best where winters are mild and summers cool. A flower bud with a delicious edible heart and leaves, the purple, thistle-like flower follows if not harvested. The spectacular gray, spiny foliage makes the plants interesting enough for ornamental gardens. Plant from root divisions in winter or spring, or start from seed in spring. Seedlings take a year or longer to bear. Plant in good rich soil with winter sun. Give high-nitrogen fertilizer, and water well during growing season. The first year, plants produce 1 to 3 artichokes. Established plants bear as many as 20 to 30 artichokes in spring. In fall, you may get a second crop. When harvesting, leave lower buds on stem to form smaller, secondary artichokes. Clean up dead leaves and remove spent flower stalks. In early fall, divide overgrown plants.
Cynara scolymus, Artichoke
Cut bud when growth stops and lower edible leaves begin to separate from the center. Eat steamed with mayonnaise or butter, or stuffed with bread crumbs. Use the hearts in salads or as a pizza topping.

Attributes - Cynara scolymus

Plant Type: Vegetable

Height: 3 ft. to 5 ft.

Width: 6 ft.

Sunlight: Full Sun

Climate: Zones 9, 10, 11

Notes: Edible. Susceptible to Aphids.

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