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September 2013
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Artichoke is a perennial thistle

Images of Artichoke at Google

Artichoke is a perennial thistle.

Overview of Artichoke

• It is indigenous to Southern Europe round the Mediterranean.
• This plant can grow up to a height of 1.4 meters – 2 meters.
• The plant arches.
• The plant possesses deep lobes.
• The leaves are silvery glaucous-green in color.
• They are about 50 cms – 82 cms long.
• The flowers have a large head.
• The flower bud is edible.
• It is about 8 cms in diameter.
• Its florets are purple in color.

This plant is used for:
• Floral displays
• On borders for the bold foliage
• Ornamental because of its large purple flower heads.

Artichokes are used for cooking and it is used with:
– sprinkled with olive oil
– in barbecue
– sauteed in olive oil with garlic
– eaten with rice as paella
– combined with eggs in a tortilla
Even tea is produced from artichoke. They are used to make herbal tea. It is the flavor of Italian liqueur Cynar.

Artichoke is used to:
– assists in digestion
– improving the liver function
– gall bladder function
– elevating of HDL/LDL ratio
– diminishes cholesterol levels
– reduces the chance for arteriosclerosis.
– reduces the danger of coronary heart disease
– bifidogenic effect on beneficial gut bacteria
– reduces functional dyspepsia
– ameliorate symptoms of IBS Castroville

Growing/Caring conditions for Artichoke

• Plant artichoke after the danger of frost has passed.
• Sow the seeds indoors before 8-12 weeks after the last spring frost.
• The site of planting should get full sun.
• The plant needs rich soil.
• This plant is grown from seeds.
• This plant is also produced from vegetative production like division, root cuttings and micro propagation.
• This plant grows well in USDA hardiness zone 7 and above.
• This plant requires good soil.
• This plant needs water regularly.
• This plant needs frost protection in winter.
• The protection in winter can be given by putting mulch.
• This plant need well drained soil.
• The soil pH needs to be about 6.5 to 7.0.
• Add organic matter along with the soil for increasing phosphorus and potassium proportions.
• Plant this artichoke about 3 feet apart in rows.
• The rows should be about 5-6 feet apart.
• In colder regions, these plants should be kept deeper.
• Mulch the plant to retain moisture and also to protect from winter cold.
• Add fish emulsion or any other organic fertilizer from spring to midsummer.
• Cut the plants in mid to late fall.
• The central bud grows faster.

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