Saturday, June 2, 2012

Artichokes in Bloom

The Globe Artichoke plants (Cynara scolymus) were very productive this year.  We gorged ourselves on these wonderful, edible thistles and still had plenty for a fabulous flower show.  In my opinion, these are some of the most spectacular flowers you will ever lay your eyes on.  Let me know if you agree.

The artichoke is best eaten when the globes are fully developed, but still tightly closed.  Steamed and served with butter and lemon juice, this tasty vegetable is a real treat.

As the artichoke prepares to flower, the edible scales fold back and the center pushes open.  Finally, the beautiful purple petals begin to appear.



A succession of blooms appear on the same plant.  One immature bud lags behind and finally, all four bloom at once.


"There is no spot of ground, however arid, bare or ugly, that cannot be tamed into such a state as may give the impression of beauty and delight." - Gertrude Jekyll

After weeks of bloom, the last of the humble artichoke thistles fades till next year, but the memories of these truly spectacular flowers are captured forever in my mind.












14 comments:

  1. Gorgeous. I'd love to grow these, but I'm not sure I have room!

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    1. They do take a fair amount of space. I would say allow about a 3' X 3' space per plant. Maybe you can squeeze one in someday.

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    1. Thanks Gwennie, I paid a visit to your blog as well. Your clematis are looking lovely.

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  3. I've never grown artichokes before. The colors in the blooms at every stage are gorgeous. Thanks for your expert and lovely photos!

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    1. Thanks Sandy. I love the ones that had a touch of burgundy/purple in the scales. Not all of my plants did, so I think this one was special, or perhaps I picked up a different variety without realizing it.

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  4. one year I'll plant some of these and then wait to see how long before the husband starts complaining about them needing to be pulled out on account of their weed-looking behavior...

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    1. Yes, my plants look pretty bad at the moment. The blooms are drying up and the foliage looks pretty bad too, so I can definitely see you point.

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  5. Oh Ally, They are beautiful! Gorgeous to look at and incredible to eat:) I planted one in March. Late, yes I know, but I'm hoping that if I can baby this plant I will get to eat some chokes and see these gorgeous blooms.

    PS When I was Italy a couple of years ago, I noticed that the Italians grow them in their gardens. They were everywhere.

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    1. Wow, Italy...very cool. Our summer's can be pretty hard on these plants. They usually go dormant and I've had so-so luck with them coming back. I've had the best luck planting container grown plants in the fall. I hope yours produce for you. Enjoy.

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  6. So beautiful. It's such a large plant, I wouldn't have room for them, but I'll enjoy (looking) at yours!

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  7. They are gorgeous! I love seeing the progression of the blooms. Wish I had the room for one too.

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  8. I am living in Gurgaon(NCR, I have grown Artichokes Flower in pots.
    But actually i realy dont know How to take care for them. They r bow flowering. Plz help me in this

    http://www.a1mumbaiflowers.com/latest-arrangements.html

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  9. Very beautiful Flower. I realy want to plant this. Thanks for Sharing.

    http://www.indiangiftscenter.com/agra.html

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