A large, spectacular ornamental plant and quite a talking point when established. Introduced in 1658 and is both a handsome border plant and a tasty vegetable.
Large, spiky, deeply cut silver leaves with stout stems bearing 4" thistle-like purple flowers in summer.
The stems can be blanched in summer and eaten. The flowers and later, seed heads, can be cut and used fresh or dried in displays.
Absolutely loved by bees and butterflies when in flower.
Given the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
Common name(s): Cardoon.