Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

A Thistle That Won’t Misbehave

Search

A Thistle That Won’t Misbehave

Michelle Slatalla March 12, 2012

Most thistles are like the dangerous boy in high school who rode a motorcycle. Prickly, invasive, and poised to take advantage in the garden–these were not plants you invited home to meet your parents. Until now.

It turns out there is a loophole (if only teenage curfews had been this easy to outwit). Artichokes, which are among the best-behaved of plants, are thistles, too. But unlike the common Scottish variety Onopordum acanthium, whose tendency to run rampant has earned it Public Enemy No. 1 status in North America, the globe artichoke is a welcome guest in any garden.

SONY DSC

Above: Photograph by Hans Hillewaert via Wikimedia.

Eat it or let it bloom so you can marvel at that 6-inch flower. Either way, Cynara cardunculus has the good sense to keep its bristly choke discreetly hidden until it bursts into view as the loveliest possible purple powder puff. Image via WCS.

cynara-cardunculus-leaves-globe-artichoke-hans-b-wikimedia

Above: Photograph by Hans B. via Wikimedia.

At home in a traditional cottage garden, where flowers and vegetables consort freely, the Green Globe variety can reach heights of four feet, making it a welcome anchor in a perennial bed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Above: Photograph by Udo Schröter via Flickr. If artichokes have a drawback, it’s that they can be finicky. A Mediterranean native, the artichoke will behave like a tender perennial or, in cold climates, like an annual; baby it in the winter. Image via WCS.

Product Summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our Partners