Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Cynara
Species: Cynara cardunculus


The cardoon, Cynara cardunculus var. altilis, belongs to the Compositae family, like the artichoke, with which it has many characteristics in common.
The cardoon has been used since ancient times, it is native to the Mediterranean area and is a perennial plant that is grown as an annual, with a cultivation cycle that can last over 200 days.
The cardoon is one of the vegetable plants that flourishes most, easily reaching one and a half metres in height.
The plant is composed of a robust taproot, which can grow to a depth of one metre, and from which a number of secondary roots develop. Greyish green leaf stalks (ribs) with longitudinal veins grow from the collar; they are fairly thick at the base and gradually become thinner.
The leaves are feather-shaped and deeply lobed right up to the central rib, sometimes they have spines. The blades are white underneath and greyish green on top.
The flowers are similar to those of the artichoke, small purple flowers grouped in a head like inflorescence.
The cardoon is a vegetable that is not widely used nowadays, even though it is very easy to grow. The edible parts are the leaf stalks (ribs), which must be blanched before they can be used for cooking.
The cardoon’s characteristic bitter-sweet flavour makes it suitable for preparing excellent delicate dishes.

Growing Sheet

Scientific name Cynara cardunculus
Productivity cycle Annual
Recommended Seeding In Pots
Number of seeds 2
Sowing Depth 1.00 cm
Distance between rows 100 cm / 100 cm
Distance between rows 50 cm / 100 cm
Estimated number of plants/sqm 2.00
Average growing time 180 gg / 210 gg
Average sprouting time 8 gg / 10 gg
Produce per sqm 2.50 kg / 4.00 kg
Estimated growing sqm per person 0.3
Ideal Sprouting Temperature (C°) 15 °c - 30 °c
Min. Temperature (C°) 7 °c
Soil pH 6.50 / 7.00
Can be grown in pots yes