Spring artichoke

Spring artichoke

Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Cynara
Species: Cynara cardunculus  var. scholymus

Description

The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scholymus) is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Asteraceae family.
It is a close relation to the cardoon, native to the Mediterranean area; today it is principally grown in Italy, France, Spain and North America.
Its growth cycle continues for several years and an artichoke bed can last for around 5 years.
Globe artichoke plants can either be grown from seed or by planting seedlings with root balls, rooted offshoots of existing plants, or root sections with buds. In your household vegetable garden we suggest that, for practical purposes, you use germinated seedlings with a root ball. Growing artichokes in a pot is not recommended due to the size of the plants. They grow in mild, fairly damp climates but do not like to get water logged.
The plants have an upright stem with a circular cross section and longitudinal veins; they can reach a height of 1.5 mt.
The leaves are silvery green and are covered in down on their underside, the shape and weather or not they have spines depends on the variety.
The plant’s root system is formed of rhizomes with secondary roots growing from them; rhizomes are roots that grow horizontally and store nutrient substances in order to generate new stems.
The main stem and its branches produce blue flower heads at their apexes.
The edible parts of the plant are the immature flower buds, made up of a fleshy receptacle (the so-called “artichoke heart”) and the leaves that surround it, called bracts.
The globe artichoke flowers once a year, therefore it is possibly to harvest the artichokes during the period that leads up to flowering which lasts all spring long.
Artichokes have many culinary uses and can be eaten raw or as an ingredient in more complex dishes.

Growing Sheet

Scientific name Cynara cardunculus var. scholymus
Productivity cycle Perennial
Recommended Seeding In Pots
Distance between rows 100 cm / 100 cm
Distance between rows 100 cm / 100 cm
Estimated number of plants/sqm 1.00
Average growing time 4 years / 5 years
Soil pH 6.40 / 7.00
Can be grown in pots no

Variety

Violetto di Toscana
Spring artichoke
Romanesco
Spring artichoke