Cynara cardunculus

var. scolymus

Globe Artichoke

In Stock: 2.366 lb (Total:2.366lb)
  • Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus

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2.37 lb


Germination test:
Seeds per lb:
2.37 lb
Collected in:
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Stratification: none required
Germination: No pre-germination treatment required; sow immediately, sow seed 3/4" deep, mulch the seed bed

Pfaf description:

Cynara Scolymus is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Stem.
Edible Uses: Curdling agent.

Flower buds - raw or cooked[2, 7, 15, 16, 27, 37, 183]. Used before the flowers open[171]. The flavour is mild and pleasant[K]. Gobe artichokes are considered to be a gourmet food but they are very fiddly to eat. The buds are harvested just before the flowers open, they are then usually boiled before being eaten. Only the base of each bract is eaten, plus the 'heart' or base that the petals grow from [K]. Small, or baby artichokes, that are produced on lateral stems can be pickled or used in soups and stews[183]. Plants yield about 5 to 6 main heads per year from their second year onwards[200]. Flowering stems - peeled and eaten raw or cooked. A sweet nutty flavour[183]. Young leaf stems - a celery substitute[200]. They are normally blanched to remove the bitterness and then boiled or eaten raw[183]. We find them too bitter to be enjoyable[K]. Leaves - cooked. A bitter flavour[15, 61]. The dried flowers are a rennet substitute, used for curdling plant milks[4, 183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anticholesterolemic; Antirheumatic; Cholagogue; Digestive; Diuretic; Hypoglycaemic; Lithontripic.

The globe artichoke has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. This bitter-tasting compound, which is found in the leaves, improves liver and gall bladder function, stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, especially bile, and lowers blood cholesterol levels[238, 254]. The leaves are anticholesterolemic, antirheumatic, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, hypoglycaemic and lithontripic[7, 21, 165]. They are used internally in the treatment of chronic liver and gall bladder diseases, jaundice, hepatitis, arteriosclerosis and the early stages of late-onset diabetes[238, 254]. The leaves are best harvested just before the plant flowers, and can be used fresh or dried[238]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Cynara scolymus (Cynara cardunculus subsp. flavescens)for liver and gallbladder complaints, loss of appetite (see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses

A dark grey dye is obtained from the leaves[7].
Cultivation details
Prefers a light warm soil and an open position in full sun[15, 16, 33, 37]. Requires plenty of moisture in the growing season and a good rich soil[200]. Prefers a sheltered position[200] but plants are reasonably wind resistant[K]. Plants are tolerant of saline conditions[4]. Plants succeed in cool climates though they may need protection in cold winters[200], they are unlikely to thrive in the north of Britain. Wet winters are far more likely to cause problems than cold ones[4, K]. The globe artichoke is often cultivated in the garden and sometimes commercially for its edible flower buds, there are some named varieties[183, 200]. It is best to renew the plants by division of the suckers every 3 years but they do live for a number of years[200]. The plant has recently been reclassified (1999) as not having specific status but being part of C. cardunculus. However, since it is distinct enough from the gardener's viewpoint (having a much larger seedhead) we have decided to leave it with its own entry for the time being[K]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. The flowering plant is a magnet for bees[108].
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually quick and good, prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions during the summer. It would be prudent to give the plants some winter protection in their first year. The seed can also be sown in situ in April. Sow the seed 2cm deep, putting 2 or 3 seeds at each point that you want a plant[1]. Protect the seed from mice[1]. Division of suckers. This is best done in November and the suckers overwintered in a cold frame then planted out in April. Division can also be carried out in March/April with the divisions being planted out straight into their permanent positions, though the plants will be smaller in their first year.
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Wiki description:

The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus)[1] is a perennial thistle of the genus Cynara originating in Southern Europe around the Mediterranean. It grows to 1.4–2 metres (4.6–6.6 ft) tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery, glaucous-green leaves 50–82 centimetres (20–32 in) long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 centimetres (3.1–5.9 in) diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the "choke" or beard. These are inedible in older larger flowers.

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