Herb, Cardoon

50 in stock

    • 45 $


Quick Overview

HERB, Cardoon –
Cynara cardunculus

FULL SUN Native to Southern Europe and North Africa, cardoons were being cultivated 2300 was not widely grown. They began to experience a growth in popularity in the late 20th century. The 4-6 ft. plants have a leaf spread of 4-5 ft. The stems (midribs) of the leaves resemble celery and are eaten in casseroles. For best results, this plant should be grown in Hardiness Zone 7 or higher.
In Hardiness Zones 5-6, sow indoors 6 weeks before transplanting outside. Plant seed 1 in. deep. Transplant outside after danger of frost is over and the soil has warmed to a depth of 6 in. For Hardiness Zones 7 or higher, plant in late spring after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to a depth of 6 in. Add ¼ cup bone meal to the soil when planting. Rows should be 4 ft. apart. When seedlings are 2 in. high, thin, leaving 4-6 ft. between plants.

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Maturity
Tender Perenniall 4-6 in. 1 in. 14-21 180

Herb, Cardoon

Cardoon became very popular in England in the 1400s and 1500s, but in America it was eclipsed in popularity by its cousin, the Artichoke. The writings of great American horticulturalists, like John Randolph from the late 1700s, provide great detail about artichokes but barely mention the Cardoon.

It was not until William Robinson, the Victorian landscape designer accredited with creating the concept of the ‘Cottage Garden’, suggested the benefits of using Cardoon as an ornamental in the border plantings of a cottage garden that Cardoon began to grow in popularity.

Today, cardoon is still regarded as more of an ornamental than a culinary plant. This is because few Americans know how to prepare this plant. In Italy and Switzerland, no kitchen garden is without at least one cardoon plant. The leaves are harvested from the base up. Only the midribs (stems) are used, and they are cut into 1-2 inch pieces, blanched and then set in a delicious, cheesy casserole. When combined with good cheeses, the subtle celery flavor of the cardoon is excellent.

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