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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
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POTW: Cardoon


Plant of the Week!

This week's plant is an unusual one that you don't see planted too often. The Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) is a perennial, hardy to zone 7, which is closely related to globe artichoke. I've seen this unique vegetable growing in various gardens this summer and the foliage is really striking. The silvery leaves of cardoon can reach 3-5 feet in length with crowns 4-6 inches in diameter under ideal conditions.

 

Photo from Territorial Seed Company

According to an article by Oregon State, cardoon is prized by people from the Mediterranean countries for its unique flavor. The young tender leaf mid-ribs and immature flower stalks are used. The plant hearts are sometimes blanched like celery stalks (maturing in September). This plant could be also easily grown as just an ornamental because of it's nice features.

Cardoon will grow on a wide range of soils, but it produces best on a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. The plant is deep rooted and should be planted on soils that afford adequate area for root development.

Seeds of cardoon can be ordered online and started indoors in Late January or early February. This is definitely one Ill be trying out next year!

Learn more about harvest here: http://nwrec.hort.oregonstate.edu/cardoon.html



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