Artichoke, Globe

Cynara scolymus
Family: Asteraceae

In times past this plant from the Mediterranean was thought to be an aphrodisiac. It is, in fact, the true artichoke. A tall perennial, related to the thistle, it has delicate gray-green leaves and immature flower heads. It will crop year after year in summer and is enjoyed as a vegetable throughout much of the US. It is also a very decorative plant.


Artichokes like a light, rich sandy loam and a sunny position protected from heavy frost. Some wind protection is also desirable. Water well during the growing season and use a complete fertilizer with plenty of potash. Weed control is a must. Seed should be sown in beds during spring and the seedlings should then be transplanted into a permanent bed at about 60 cm (24 in) apart. Artichokes can also be propagated from the suckers of older plants that have provided good yields. Plant suckers 90 cm (36 in) apart in early spring. By planting suckers every two or three years, continuity of production is ensured.


Zone 6 and above.