The Green Globe Artichoke is the king of the artichokes. Its the one you’re most likely to find in your local supermarket or at your favorite restaurant. In addition to its delicious taste, the foliage of the Green Globe Artichoke is very attractive, and provides a welcomed aesthetic addition to the garden even after harvest. More Information: Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) is an herbaceous perennial that is grown for its tender, edible, immature flower buds.
The globe artichoke should not be confused with Jerusalem artichoke, another member of the composite family native to North America, which is grown for its fleshy tubers. Globe artichoke plants can become large: four to five feet tall and wide, with long, heavily serrated silvery green leaves (Figure 1a). Unopened flower buds resemble large pinecones (Figure 1b). Buds can grow up to three to four inches in diameter, are rounded at the base, and tapering to the tip or blocky in shape.
Many spiny, pointed, green bracts (small, leaf-like structures) surround the hidden flower parts. The buds are harvested at an immature stage before they open and expose the flower. The base of each bract and the large fleshy base or receptacle (artichoke “heart”) on which the flower and bracts are borne are fleshy and edible. If the buds are allowed to mature and open, the resulting flowers are quite attractive, large, and fragrant (see picture with purple flower)