Globe Artichoke (Heritage Variety)
( Cynara scolymus cv.)
A plant with spectacular structural presence in the perennial garden is the globe artichoke.
Large silvery plumes erupt from the Autumn garden at the onset of cooler weather. The foliage forms a small shrub after a year of being established spreading about 1 - 1.5m in width with the same height thistle like flower heads emerge quickly in mid Spring sending the plant height to about 1.5 - 2m.
Tight buds are best picked for culinary pursuits or let them fatten if you plan to bring them in as a cut flower. I like this heritage "Purple de Jesi" variety for cut flowers and also, if I can be bothered, for cooking as the petals are softer and more palatable
"Green Globe" another heritage variety is more pushy and has a larger prolonged flower head in the garden both the foliage and advanced flower heads harbor nasty prickly bits
they're similarity to a thistle is most notable here ! In saying that, the grandness of the bloom makes it a very worthy addition for structural size to the garden.
Drought hardy, tasty to snails pushy amidst weeds and competition, keep the over-wintering leaf rosettes free of debris to prevent damp rots.