From the Canary Islands, north-western Africa and the Mediterranean, Cynara cardunculus is a very statuesque, thistle-like clump forming perennial, growing to a height of 2.4m with enormous, thick, architectural, greyish silver-green leaves up to 1.2 m long. In high summer, thistle-like, purple, flowers that resemble a small globe artichoke head are held well above the foliage and much loved by bees.
With their large, often spinney leaves and tall heads of thistle-like flowers, they are creating imposing ornamental plants for the exotic garden. When in bloom they tend to become top heavy and have a tendency to fall over hence early staking is essential.
Latin name: Cynara cardunculus
Common Name: Cardoon – Artichoke thistle
Ease of growing: Easy
Position: Full sun
Soil Condition: Well drained soil