What is an Artichoke plant?
An artichoke plant, scientifically named as Cynara scolymus, is a herbaceous plant. It belongs to the family Asteraceae, and its common name is Artichoke, globe artichoke, green Artichoke, and French Artichoke. Artichokes are beautifully grown perennial plants.
Artichoke plants have long, silvery-green leaves. The leaves look soft, but they can be pricky as well. The stem of the plant is thick and fleshy. They are large plants that grow up to 6 feet tall and 5 feet in width. If the plant is not harvested, then they bloom into spiky purple-colored flowers. They are ornamental plants. We can eat the flower bud of this plant. The leaf stem and root of the plants are used to make extracts. Artichokes are rich in nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals, fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, and many more.
Artichoke plants are eatable. You can also cook them with the veggies. Artichokes can be steamed, boiled, or grilled, and they are mostly served with sauce.
- Before cooking it, firstly remove all excess stem and brown scales of the Artichoke. You can also cut off spiky parts.
- To steam or boil, rub the Artichoke with lemon to keep the scales bright green.
- Boil it for 40 minutes, and it is ready.
- Once the Artichoke is cooked, cut the Artichoke in half and serve it.
Scientific classification of an Artichoke plant
|Variety:||C. c. var. scolymus|
Types of Artichoke plant
There are many varieties of the artichoke plant. Some of them produce big buds with lots of flesh, while some of them are decorative. Different types of artichoke plants have their own harvesting time as well. Mainly, there are elongated and globe types of Artichoke. Globe artichokes are large and round, whereas elongated artichokes are tapered and elongated.
Some of the varieties of artichoke plant are as follows:-
The green globe is a mostly grown variety of Artichokes. They grow well in colder climates. It is an annual plant. This variety can produce for five years, and they harvest early in 75 days.
Violetto is an Italian heirloom for producing small side shoots. They have purple heads, and this one mature a bit late. This variety is known for its tenderness. They provide 6-8 primary buds, and the plants produce for four years.
Imperial star is another annual plant that matures a week earlier than Green Globe. It is the best globe artichokes for the gardeners in zones 1-6. This variety is easy to grow from seed, and they are widely adaptable.
The tempo is the right choice for the gardeners in zones 1 to 6. It produces 3 to 4 primary buds, which are about 10 – 13 cm in diameter, which is followed by 10-15 secondary buds of 5 -8 cm in diameter.
Jerusalem Artichoke is also known as a sunchoke. It is a species of sunflower, which grows from feet to 9 feet. Tubers of this variety can be eaten.
Big Heart Artichoke
Big Heart Artichoke does not have thorns. It can be grown as an annual from seeds. It reaches up to 5 ½ inches in height, and handle the heat.
Some other varieties of artichoke plants are Baby Anzo, Omaha, Fiesole, Colorado Star, Purple of Romagna, Gros vert de Laon, Emerald, Sienna, and many others.
How to grow an Artichoke plant?
Artichoke plants can grow in many zones. They are likely to increase in warmer areas than in colder regions. Artichoke plant requires a lot of time to grow. You can plant it indoor or outdoor. Artichoke plant takes up a lot of space and requires full sun. You can also grow artichokes in the container. The container should be 60 x 60 x 60 cm box with a right potting mix.
- First of all, choose the right location to plant it. You should select the area where it has plenty of sunlight.
- Prepare moist, fertile, and well-drained soil, and mix the soil with potting mix.
- Sow the seeds in the ground at a distance of 4 to 6 feet.
- Water it consistently, about three times a week.
- After a few weeks, the plant begins to grow.
- Apply fertilizers to the plant
Mostly artichoke plants are harvested in 85 to 100 days. You should collect the plant before the flower opens. Harvest the plants while the bracts are tightly folded, and the buds feel firm.
How to care for an Artichoke plant?
You should care for the Artichoke plant properly.
- They have a deep root system, so plant them in-ground or in the deep garden bed
- The soil should be rich, fertile, and moist with a pH value of 6.5 to 7.
- Too much of watering the plant may lead to root rot, so water the plant
- Different pests such as slugs, snails, Curley dwarf can affect the plant, so you should be alert for this problem.
- The temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit should be maintained.
You should trim the Artichoke, and it is not a difficult one. You can use a knife to trim the artichoke bud. Remove two layers of leaves around the stem, and cut off the stem part. Peel it and place it in a bowl of lemon water to keep it fresh.
Companion plants for artichoke
We should consider the soil requirements for all the artichoke companion plants similar to the artichoke plant. We have listed some artichoke companion plants.
Peas do provide nitrogen to the soil that are good for artichoke plants. Peas are also seasonal so they don’t really hamper artichoke plants to spread as the plants take huge space.
Cucumber plants take less ground and take more space above and also exude nitrogen that artichoke plants need. It is always better to have cucumber planted near or along with artichoke.
Other companion plants for Artichoke include Sunflower, Rutabaga, Broccoli and all cabbage family that helps artichoke plants to grow big and yield amazing fruit.
Uses of an Artichoke plant
Some of the uses of an Artichoke plant are listed below:
- Some research has also said that taking the extract of Artichoke by mouth helps to cure nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
- The leaves of artichokes are used for herbal medicine that helps for kidney, liver, and gallbladder issues.
- Artichoke is vegan and used on a Keto diet helping in losing weight.
- It reduces the symptoms of alcohol hangover and heartburn.
- Some people also use this plant for treating snakebites, for lowering blood sugar and pressure, and also for preventing gallstones.
- The leaves and extracts of Artichoke are used to flavor beverages, and sometimes it acts as a sweetener.
Possible side effects of Artichoke plant
In some people, consuming Artichoke can cause side effects such as diarrhea, gas, and upset stomach. It might also cause allergic reactions.
Where can I buy artichoke plants and seeds?
You can find Artichoke plant for sale in nurseries near you. You can also find artichoke seeds for sale on Amazon too.