Almost too pretty to eat. The violet, thistle-like flowers of this perennial plant are not only attractive to humans, but also to many insects. Both the floral receptacle and the artichoke hearts are eaten. Both are considered a delicacy. Young artichokes can also be eaten raw. In warm, sunny, sheltered places, this Mediterranean member of the Asteraceae family can also establish itself in this country in mild areas.
Once the artichoke has survived the first winter, it is actually quite easy to care for. Artichokes like to grow in deep, permeable and nutrient-rich soil. The flowering shoots usually do not appear until the second year. With some varieties or when sown very early, the flowers may develop in the first year. Cut back for overwintering, cover well with leaves and straw and hope for a dry, mild winter. It survives the winter best under glass or foil.
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