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Cynara cardunculus

Cardoon

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour

Purple

Feature

Attractive seed-heads, Flowers, Dramatic foliage

Hardiness

Hardy

Skill level

Beginner

Cynara cardunculus
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Plant details

An old Victorian favourite, once grown as a vegetable and blanched for use rather like celery, the cardoon, Cynara cardunculus, is now valued for its striking silvery, thistle-like foliage which adds a theatrical touch to the border. In summer, tall flower stems are topped by fat thistle buds which resemble small globe artichokes – the plants are close cousins. The buds finally 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. It makes a dramatic cut flower. The Royal Horticultural Society have given it its Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Grow Cynara cardunculus in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Mulch annually with well-rotted manure or compost.

Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Cynara

Species: cardunculus

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Purple

Foliage colour: Silver

Feature: Attractive seed-heads, Flowers, Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 240cm

Spread: 90cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May

Time to divide plants: March to May

Flowering period: June to September


Reader reviews

POSTIANO3-50

HI CAN YOU DRY A CARDOON FLOWER HEAD. THANKS


SimonRous

How long do globe artichokes last as vegetables before they need to be replaced? Mine have produced a mass of edible globes every year for 10 years, but this year few though the plants were strong . Is it just a bad year or should I replace with new stock?


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