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perennial

Cardoon

Cynara cardunculus

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Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) at Squak Mountain Nursery

Cardoon

Cardoon

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) at Squak Mountain Nursery

Cardoon fruit

Cardoon fruit

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) at Squak Mountain Nursery

Cardoon foliage

Cardoon foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  7

Other Names:  Artichoke Thistle

Description:

Splendid arching silvery, spiny foliage is an architectural delight in the garden; careful when handling the spiny foliage; bold thistle-like flowers can be eaten like artichokes when unopened; leaf stalks edible if blanched; invasive in some regions

Ornamental Features

Cardoon features showy purple pincushion flowers rising above the foliage from late spring to early summer. Its attractive spiny ferny leaves remain grayish green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Cardoon is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny
  • Self-Seeding

Cardoon is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Herb Gardens

Planting & Growing

Cardoon will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This species is not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Edging  Garden  Herb 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for availability. It does not include our entire inventory of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.