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Cynara cardunculus AGM

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© RHS 1989

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Purple in Autumn and Summer

Foliage

Grey/Silver in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

1.5-2.5 metres

Ultimate spread

1-1.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

cardoon

Family

Asteraceae


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

C. cardunculus is a robust herbaceous perennial to 2.5m forming a clump of silvery-grey, pinnatifid, spiny leaves up to 1m in length. Large thistle-like purple flowers in late summer and autumn

Other common names

  • globe artichoke
  • prickly artichoke

Synonym(s)

  • Cynara cardunculus Cardoon

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing, East-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in a fertile, well-drained soil in full sun; shelter from strong winds. In very cold winters, apply a dry mulch.

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Chalk or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame or propagate by division in spring or take root cuttings in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Architectural, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Wildlife Gardens or Cut Flowers


How to care

Pruning

Cut down flower stems as they emerge in summer if you want to grow it as a foliage plant

Pests

Can be damaged by snails, slugs and blackfly

Diseases

Generally disease free