This Artichoke Thistle grows around 48 inches tall, produced chokes in first year. Use as an ornamental vegetable like other artichokes. Plants have very largem bright violet flower heads that have purple phyllaries. The herbage is prickly with razor-sharp, jagged, deeply-lobed, silver-gray leaves. Uniform plants with solid and heavy buds and thorn-less foliage. Semi-early flowering and especially suited for floral arrangements. Very nice also as a dried flower or in bouquets. A useful specimen plant. Long blooming plants are perennial. Attractive to butterflies and other pollinators.
2003 medicinal plant of the year in Germany. Grow in full sun in moist, fertile, soils that are well drained and on the dry side once plants are established. Plants produce a large and deep taproot as perennials, but where not hardy the plants can be gown as an annual with the seeds started in February. Transplant out the plants into the landscape after danger of frost is over. Plants grown from seed to be annuals may not reliably produce flowers, but the foliage is very ornamental by its self.
Native to the Mediterranean, where Cynara cardunculus has a long history of cultivation and use as a subject for decorative art work.