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Cardoon

Culinary & Medicinal Herb Seeds

We carry a diverse variety of herb seeds, including culinary herbs, medicinals, ethnobotanicals, native plants of the PNW, and nectar and pollen rich flowers attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. All varieties are open pollinated, we do not sell hybrid seeds. Average seed life is 3 years. Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

Cardoon

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Cardoon

3.75

(Cynara cardunculus)

Quantity:
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Common Names
Cardoon, Artichoke Leaf, Artichoke Thistle, Wild Artichoke

Botanical Name
Cynara cardunculus

Plant Family
Asteraceae (Daisy Family)

Native Range
Europe, especially the Mediterranean. 

Life Cycle
Perennial

Hardiness Zone
7-9

Habit
Cardoon is very ornamental perennial with its large, showy deeply toothed silver-gray leaves, and purple-blue thistle like flowers on top of sturdy flower stalks to 6ft tall. It blooms in late July through August and is frequently visited by bees and butterflies.

Sun/Soil
Full sun, well-drained soil.

Germination/Sowing
Seeds are best sown in spring in flats and then transplanted out once seedlings are strong and sturdy. 

Growing/Care
It is very easy to grow and extremely low maintenance, being exceptionally drought tolerant. The plants are not tolerant of soggy winter soil. These tall plants can be cut back to the ground in the late summer.

Harvesting
The entire leaf can be harvested anytime from when they appear in March onward until they begin to die back for the season in the fall. As with other herbs, the leaves are at their most potent medicinally when the flower buds begin to form, and I’ve noticed that this is an especially true with artichoke. As the leaves are incredibly bitter they, a tincture is the easiest way to administer its medicine.

Culinary Uses
The stems of the tender new spring growth can be steamed or braised and are considered a delicacy in Europe. The flowers are used as a coagulent in place of rennet for cheese making.

Medicinal Uses
Artichoke leaf is a proven remedy for digestive and cardiovascular health, and especially well-known as a liver protectant and liver tonic. The tincture taken as a bitter before meals increases digestive secretions, lighting the ‘digestive fire’. This action makes food more valuable by enhancing nutrient absorption, helps with fat digestion, lessens the load on the liver. Artichoke leaf is also very high in antioxidants; and helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Artichoke Leaf is one of my favourite herbs to create a bitters blend for improving overall digestive health. Here is the recipe I like to give my students : 3 parts Artichoke leaf tincture, 2 parts Dandelion Root tincture, 1 part Burdock Root tincture, 1/2 part Fennel tincture, 1⁄4 part Cardamom tincture, 1⁄4 part Cinnamon tincture. Blend tinctures together in amber glass bottle with tight fitting lid. Shake well. Label. Take 5-10 drops on the tip of the tongue 10-15 minutes before meals for a minimum of two weeks.

Themes
Apothecary Garden, Drought Tolerant, Low Maintenance, Deer Resistant, Attracts Pollinators, Container Garden, Cut Flowers.