categoryZCrops Crops List 

GLOBE ARTICHOKE

CARDOON

Cynara cardunculus

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

Flowers:
month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

Pappus: pappusZpossible (stiff bristly, not wind borne)
pappus8aug pappus8sep pappus8sept pappus8oct

category
category8Crops
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8mauve colour8purple
inner
inner8red
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZmany
type
typeZglobed
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8ribbed

15th July 2009, Martin Mere, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A thistle-like plant. Growing in the margin of a farmers field, left-overs from a previous planting.


15th July 2009, Martin Mere, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A young flower-head before flowering is shaped as a globe with fleshy phyllaries (which may, or may not, have an apical spine as here).


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Can take up to three years before they reach their full size, about 1.8m. Lower leaves long and with large irregular triangular lobes.


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Upper leaves mush less lobed. Globed flower-head opening.


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The phyllaries are purple/red edged, and purplish apexes.


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flowers consist of disc florets only, no ray florets (just like Thistles and Knapweeds.


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Ray-florets long and mauve or violet/blue.


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A single stamen protrudes through the cylindrical disc floret and has white pollen. (The pappus that follows flowering and carries away the seeds on the air has proximally united hairs - not shown).


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The fleshy phyllaries (compare those on Common Knapweed).


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Purple edged with purple blotches. Stems thick and Rhubarb-like. Small leaves attached directly to main stem without stalks.


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Larger leaves seem to have their stems running down into the stem. Leaves may or may not have spines (none here).


9th Aug 2012, promenade, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Lower leaves roughly pinnately-lobed with large irregular triangular teeth and light-green.


Not to be confused with : Jerusalem Artichoke [a plant with similar name but with yellow flowers, with both ray and disc florets, that belongs to the same family, but is in s differing Genus]

There are two varieties :

  • Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. cardunculus) has strongly spiny leaves and phyllaries
  • Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) lacks the spines on the leaves
Both are grown as garden ornaments and as garden vegetables (the succulent receptacle and phyllary bases are edible but the stiff bristles of the pappus are inedible).

The above photos, lacking leaf-spines, are probably the latter, Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus.

Some similarities to : Thistles such as Spear Thistle.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : the succulent and edible phyllaries.

Although described as a 'globe' artichoke, the purple inflorescence is not globed, but rather brush-shaped like most other thistles. What is globed is the whole flower-head, including the edible phyllaries. There is indeed a pappus, or 'dandelion-clock' but it is composed of stiff bristles rather than fine hair, is coloured white to brown, purple in lower half, but are heavy enough to just fall off landing nearby rather than be blown by the wind far and wide like many others. They may be carried further by attaching themselves to the fur of a passing animal. although if the wind is strong enough it may disperse them up to


  Cynara cardunculus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cynara
Cynara
(Globe Artichokes)

GLOBE ARTICHOKE

CARDOON

Cynara cardunculus

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]