Name: Cardoon aka Cynara cardunculus
Type of Plant: A perennial plant that’s used as an annual in northern areas, Cardoon is a relative of the artichoke. It’s large, silver foliage adds drama to gardens or containers. The blanched stems have long been eaten in many countries.
Why I Love This Plant: I love this plant because it’s so sculptural and the silver color contrasts so beautifully with green or purple foliage. I also like the thistle-like flowers that can develop later in the summer.
I will plan to grow this from from seed next year, starting them indoors in March when I start my tomatoes.
A Word to the Wise: Plant cardoon in full sun, and if you’re using this in containers, make sure they are large and fairly deep. When planting in containers or in the ground, this plant loves good drainage.