Artichoke Green Globe
Artichoke Green Globe
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Usually available: All year
Life cycle: Perennial
Height: 1 - 1.5m
Position: Full sun
Soil preference: Well drained
This is how we pack and send your Herb Plants to all states except TAS & WA
You will receive
- 1 Artichoke Green Globe Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions
All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers
Botanical Name: Cynara scolymus
Green Globe Artichoke is a large perennial, growing up to 1 -1.5 meters under good conditions. It has large, deeply toothed silvery grey- green leaves that spread out 50-80cm from the main stem. The arching leaves may have barbs and they spread out alternately on the large strong stem. The flower head is made of many small buds and many involucre bracts that create a cup like shape as they grow. The immature buds at the centre are called the ‘choke’, beard or heart of the plant. This plant is often grown for its value as a food and this part of the plant must be harvested before flowering. However, if left to flower, the buds will appear in spring of the second year and a large and showy purple flower head will develop in summer. The bracts will also turn a deeper shade of purple during this time. Many people value Artichoke as a border plant for the flowers.
The Green Globe Artichoke is native to the Mediterranean and North Africa, but was introduced to England in 1548 and North America in the 19th century. Many different forms of artichoke were cultivated by Ancient Greeks and Romans, which slowly lead to many varieties appearing throughout history. Artichoke is a variety of Thistle that has been developed for cultivation for food. Cultivation of artichokes began over 2000 years ago with the Romans. Today the plant is cultivated on a huge scale in California and also in Italy, Spain and France where the Mediterranean climate is ideal.
The scientific name Cynara cardunculus var scolymus is derived from the thistle family of plants, with the family name Cynareae, synonym Cardueae. The Latin name for Thistle is ‘carduus’ and the Romans named the plant ‘cardoon’ in its native Mediterranean region. ‘Scolymus’ is one of the Genus names for several Thistle plants, acknowledging the artichoke’s place in this family. Many thistle plants have the similar showy purple flower, but on a smaller scale. The botanical name for Green Globe Artichoke is often listed as Cynara scolymus. Its common name comes from the Italian ‘articiocco’ or ‘articolos,’ which translates to ‘pinecone’ in English. The Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke at all, and belongs to the same family of plants as the sunflower.
Today, the Green Globe Artichoke is known for its culinary use, valued as an ornamental garden border plant and it is being investigated for value to modern medicine.
The wild growing artichoke comes from North Africa and areas in and around the Mediterranean, so any regions that have similar climates will be well suited to this plant. Temperate and sub-tropical regions are suitable. However unlike many Mediterranean plants artichoke does not like dry conditions. It prefers sunny, rich and moist but well drained soil and requires space to spread out. When planted they should be fertilized well and supplied with regular water. Flowers appear in the second year, with the buds opening at 5-10cm wide, in summer. If the artichoke is required for food the buds must be harvested well before they open, otherwise they will be coarse and inedible.
Artichokes prefer mild winters and cool summers, although warm climates are suitable. In winter the five strongest shoots should be selected and other pruned out. This plant usually lives for around 5 years before replacements are recommended. Vegetative propagation is usual for cultivated varieties such as Green Globe. Different methods include division, root cuttings or micro propagation. There are some annual varieties that will grow from seed. Artichoke is ideal to plant near other perennial vegetables like Asparagus Mary Wash.
Artichoke has a long tradition of medicinal use and medical research has shown support for this history. People of Brazil, Europe and France used the Artichoke plant quite extensively. There are many herbs and plants that have significant folklore around medicinal use. However, modern medicine has often shown the effects to be absent or limited in normal quantities consumed. Artichoke is one of the plants that has been found have potential for modern medicinal use. The main active constituent found in the leaves is ‘cynarine’; however there are many chemicals found in Cynara scolymus including flavonoids, sesquiterpene lactones, polyphenols, and caffeoylquinic acids. There are also many derivatives of these chemicals.
The exact method in which the many chemicals work is unknown. However medical research indicates that it is a combination of the active ingredients that affects physiological responses. The main therapeutic value has been found in use of artichoke extracts for cholesterol management, digestive problems, kidney insufficiency, liver detoxification and stimulation and gall bladder stimulation. There have also been indications that Artichoke is very useful for management of dyspepsia, or heartburn symptoms, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Some historical evidence suggests that artichoke had a hypoglycemic effect, so it may be wise for diabetics to avoid high concentrations.
Artichoke has a distinct but pleasant bitter taste, also described as nutty, or smooth and buttery. The canned or preserved artichokes sold in grocery stores may be preserved in marinades or just in water. They taste very different from the freshly harvested crop. And, just a reminder, that the wild variety is/was not really edible until it was cultivated and improved. The time to harvest the flower head for culinary use is before the buds have opened, otherwise they are inedible. The edible parts include the heart or ‘choke’ at the centre and the fleshy lower portions of the bracts.
This plant is very high in minerals, vitamins and also has strong medicinal value related to cholesterol management and other health concerns. Green Globe Artichoke is also known to have one of the highest antioxidant values of all vegetables. It contains cynarine, a chemical present in the pulp of leaves and bracts, which inhibits taste receptors and makes water and other foods or drink taste sweeter. Artichoke has many uses as a vegetable food source and may be boiled, fried, baked, stewed or steamed. They are often cooked and served with other smaller vegetables, stuffed or served with complementary dishes or sauces.
All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.