How to grow it

This is one of the most ornamental perennial edibles in the garden.

It is a relative of the thistle, and an improved cultivar of the cardoon (of which you can eat the stems).

Both plants have striking grey/green large leaves and no prickles. The artichoke's edible part is the flower bud, which should be cut off before flowering. The flowers are bumble bee magnets. Globe artichokes will be happy in most soils, but dislike wet feet or frost. Cut the flower stems to ground level (or pull out) once they dry out in autumn. The plant is relatively dormant in winter, budding again in spring and early summer.


In the Kitchen

Boil artichoke buds in water and lemon juice until tender. Pull the outer petals off and eat the fleshy bases, dipped in hollandaise sauce. Scoop out the inedible stringy "choke", then chop up the remaining "heart" for dipping.