Cardoon is a magnificent perennial native to southern Europe, with spiny, gray-green foliage and purple, thistle-like flowers. The French first grew it as a vegetable and Quakers brought it to America in the 1790's. Although related to Globe Artichokes - which Thomas Jefferson grew throughout his life - the edible part of a Cardoon is its thick leaf stalk, which can be blanched with mounded soil.
Sow seeds indoors during mid-late winter at 70 degrees F, transplant to 3" pots once they have several true leaves, then harden off and transplant outdoors to rich, well-drained soil 3-4 weeks before the last frost. Approximately 10-12 Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) seeds per packet.
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) is considered an invasive plant in the following state: CA.
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