- USDA hardiness zones:
Cardoon looks and is used as if a combination of burdock, artichoke and celery; it is prized for its delicious stalks which are eaten young, blanched. It is a tender perennial, grown as an annual in most climates. In warm, dry climates, however, cardoon does well in low-water areas and so can become invasive; it is considered a weed in many areas of California. Cardoon is very large growing 4 feet (120 cm) and 2 feet (60 cm) wide, with a large flower similar to that of an artichoke. The in the wild, stalks are covered in tiny spines which are painful to the touch, while cultivars are available that are 'almost' spineless but take care, nevertheless when handling. (less)
Cardoon is very large growing 4 feet (120 cm) and 2 feet (60 cm) wide, with a large flower similar to that of an artichoke.
Sow cardoon seeds ¼ inch (6 mm) deep and as far apart indoors or directly out doors 3 "4 weeks after danger of frost has passed. Seeds prefer warm soil to germinate" so use bottom heat if possible - above 70 F (20 C). In colder climates pot up transplants and keep at around 65 F (18 C) and no more than 10 degrees colder at night until day time temps reach close to 60 F (15 C). Plant in full sun or light shade in soil high in organic matter. Supplement bed soil with compost. Stalks are ready to harvest 120 to 150 days after planting.
Size and growth:
- No data available
Bloom / flowers:
- Purple, iridescent, spiny flowers
Europe -- they need a long growing season
It is a beautiful plant, with arching fronds from a central point, resembling a fountain with an intense iridescent purple flower, and goes in the most arid of zones. It is fairly tasty but needs more preparation than most vegetables, since it is tough skinned. Vegetarians use cardoons in place of rennet (to curdle milk) in sheep and goat cheese production.
In the wild stalks are covered with tiny spines which are painful to the touch, although there are more refined cultivars which are available and are 'almost' spineless --- but take care always when handling! it is considered a weed in many areas of California. Cardoon is very large growing 4 feet (120 cm) and 2 feet (60 cm) wide, with a large flower similar to that of an artichoke.