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Herbaceous Perennial

Cynara cardunculus Scolymus Group
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

globe artichoke

Large, architectural perennials up to 1.5m tall and 1m wide, with large, silvery grey-green leaves. Grown for their edible flower buds, but ornamental enough for the flower garden. Green, scaly buds open to thistle-like purple flowers in summer and autumn. Many varieties of globe artichokes are available, varying in plant and bud size and bud colour

Other common names
chards
French artichoke
Synonyms
Cynara scolymus
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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Purple Green Grey Silver
Autumn Purple Green Grey Silver
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Cynara are robust thistle-like plants with grey-hairy, pinnately lobed leaves and globose purple flower-heads

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun; shelter from strong winds. In very cold winters apply a dry mulch. For more advice, follow globe-artichokes cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed. See sowing vegetable seeds

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Cut flowers
  • Wall side borders
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut down in autumn when cropping is over

Pests

May be susceptible to snails, slugs and blackfly (black aphid) when young

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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