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Globe artichoke, Cynara cardunculus 'Scolymus Group' is a dramatic perennial plant grown for its edible immature flowerheads, which are produced from July onwards. It's also highly ornamental, bearing striking silvery, thistle-like foliage and tall flower stems topped by fat thistle buds. If not harvested, these open into large purple thistle flowers which attract masses of bees. The dead flowerheads can be left on the plants to provide additional interest in winter, and may lure in a flock of finches.
Grow Cynara cardunculus 'Scolymus Group' in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Plants are easily raised from seed, or propagated by division in spring. Snails may be a problem for young shoots.
Cultivar: Scolymus Group
Plant type: Vegetable
Flower colour: Mauve
Foliage colour: Silver
Feature: Flowers, Dramatic foliage
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Experienced
Time to plant seeds: March to May
Time to divide plants: February to March
Flowering period: June to September
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