What a bold, architectural perennial for the garden! Cardoon is a handsome herbaceous plant that produces huge rosettes of spiny, silvery arching leaves. In the second year this close relative of the artichoke produces tall, multi-branched stems topped with enormous thistle-like blooms of violet-blue. These appear from early to midsummer. Bees and butterflies love the blossoms of this native of the Azore Islands and Mediterranean.
Cardoon may also be enjoyed as a vegetable, though its use is uncommon outside of Europe. The rosettes and leaves are covered with mounds of soil and made tender from lack of sunlight. These blanched stems and tender leaves are then cooked or eaten raw in salads like celery.
For the best foliar display, remove its flower stalks when they first begin to form. If you decide to let its flowers be, they make great cutflowers. Cardoon’s large attractive leaves add a bold splash of silver to seaside gardens, cottage garden or sunny mixed borders.
Beautifully heat and drought tolerant, cardoon grows well in average soil with perfect drainage and full, hot sun. In warmer subtropical regions, it is best planted in fall and allowed to grow outside the hot rainy summer season. Across the temperate zones, this plant may be better treated as a half-hardy annual or occasionally biennial plant.
Approximately 20 seeds in 1g packet.
Genus - Cynara
Species - Cardunculus
Variety - Bianco
Common name - Cardoon
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 10
Height - 0,90 - 2 m
Spread - 1 m
Plant type - Perennial flower
Exposure - Full sun, part shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acid, neutral, alkaline
Soil type - Loam, clay, prefers well-drained
Water requirements - Average water, drought tolerant
Landscape uses - Cutflower, Edging, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
Bloom season - May - September
Leaf / Flower color - Gray-green / Purple, Blue Violet
1. Soak for a 12 hours and sow from February to March in trays of moist compost.
2. Sow thinly and cover with a fine layer of compost. Cover with glass, polythene or propagator lid.
3. Keep at +15-+20C. Seedlings appear in 14-28 days.
4. Remove cover when seedlings appear. When large enough transplant to individual pots. Stand outside for a few days late in May (avoid frosts). Transplant 90 cm apart in final position in June.
5. Harvest from July to October the following year.
1. Sow from March to April in a prepared seed bed.
2. Sow thinly in rows 30 cm apart. Cover lightly with fine soil.Keep moist.
3. When large enough thin to 30 cm apart. Plant out 90 cm apart in final position in September to October.
4. Harvest from July to October the following year and for a further 4-5 years.
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