Cardoon: The Friendly Giant

Credit: by Barbra Fairclough


Most of us are familiar with the globe artichoke or Cynara scolymus, with its bud containing the “artichoke heart.” Cynara cardunculus, or cardoon, is its imposing cousin; the bud on this species is not eaten, however the inner leaf stalks are edible. To grow cardoon for eating, cover the young plant with parchment paper or newspaper to blanch it.

Often reaching a height of 1.8 metres, cardoon has a distinctive architectural appearance, and beautiful woolly grey leaves. It is often planted as a backdrop to colourful annuals, and is reportedly deer resistant.