This fast-growing herbaceous perennial in the aster family (Asteraceae) is native to the western and central Mediterranean where it was domesticated in ancient times. Cardoon is a thistle that tastes like a bitter version of a giant artichoke with small, prickly flower heads. But unlike an artichoke, you eat the leaf stems, not the flower buds. The edible part looks like a celery stalk and the flowers look like something Eeyore would enjoy. Blanching makes the plant more tender and easier to cook. It was popular in ancient Greek, Roman, and Persian cuisine, and through the medieval and early modern periods in Europe, as well as in colonial America. Cardoon is still cultivated for food in southern Europe and northwestern Africa.
It is hardy only in zones 7-10, so is treated as an annual in colder climates. In some mild climates, including Argentina, Chile, Australia and California, it has become naturalized and is considered a weed in these regions.
0.8g ~ 20 seeds
Artichoke, Imperial Star
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