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Cynara cardunculus

Cardoon

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Cynara cardunculus
  • Common name: Cardoon
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Deciduous
Flower colour:

Purple

Foliage colour:

Silver

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).

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

How to grow Cynara cardunculus

  • Plant size

    2.4m height

    90cm spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Middle, back

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Clay / heavy / moist / well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Divide
Divide

Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do Divide in March

Do Divide in April

Do Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do not Divide in September

Do not Divide in October

Do not Divide in November

Do not Divide in December

Cynara cardunculus and wildlife

Cynara cardunculus is known for attracting bees and other pollinators. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers and has seeds for birds.

Attractive to Bees

Does not attract Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Attractive to Other pollinators

Is Cynara cardunculus poisonous?

Cynara cardunculus has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People