Artichoke /Cynara Scolymus/
Globe Artichoke is an herbaceous perennial that grows 1-2m high.
An attractive plant with feathery silver foliage and a long stalk with striking purple thistle-like flowers.
The edible flower buds, picked before they open, are a delicacy.
Steam in a pot with the artichokes sitting on their bases and dress with a vinaigrette. Can be pickled in vinaigrette.
Temperate Mediterranean climate with cool Summers and mild Winters.
The plants need chilling to produce buds.
Improved short-lived varieties like ‘Imperial Star’ can be grown in the subtropics with a little care.
Artichokes grow best in deep, rich well-drained soils.
Side dress with compost a couple of times during the season.
They thrive near the ocean and will benefit from being mulched with seaweed.
Artichokes suffer in wet hot Summers, so give them a little shade.
Plants grown from suckers or slips are preferred to plants grown from seed as they will grow true to type and produce more buds in the first year.
Choose suckers from productive plants that have produced large chokes.
A healthy plant will produce many suckers. Remove all but the five largest suckers from the plant and allow them to grow until Autumn. Then cut them from the mother plant, keeping as many roots on the sucker as possible.
Plant seed in pots in Spring and plant out in Autumn.
When the plant has finished the season’s production, cut it to the ground. They will sprout up again in Autumn from the crown.
Young flower buds, before they open into flowers and the heart or choke are a delicacy. Young leaf shoots and stems are also eaten steamed.
Risks and weed potential
Harvesting & Processing
Harvest when full size but before the flower starts to
open. Spring through to Autumn