Organic Artichoke ‘Imperial Star’

£2.65

Availability: 7 in stock

Soil Association Organic Logo         Cynara Scolymus  – 10 Seeds        

Artichoke ‘Imperial Star’ is a stunning globe artichoke that can be grown as either an annual or perennial. It is a real gourmet vegetable!

It produces up to 8 good sized buds per plant and is at home in the vegetable garden but can also be grown in a garden border due to its stunning, ornamental look! The bees love its incredible flowers when they open.

The artichoke seeds should be sown in trays or modules at around 18°c in late winter/early spring. Pot on when the seedlings are large enough to handle and plant out from early summer around 90cm apart. The buds should be harvested before they open when they are golf ball sized. Ideally the plants should be replaced every 3-4 years to maintain yields.

Seed Story

Artichokes are one of the oldest known foods. They have been domesticated from the Wild Cardoon, a thistle like plant, which is native to the Mediterranean and North Africa where it still grows wild.

The Globe Artichoke is also known as the French Artichoke or the Green Artichoke and it is the flower bulb which is the edible part, before it blooms.

Artichokes were cultivated in Naples in the 15th Century and Catherine de Medici made them famous when she brought them with her to France when she arrived to marry Henry II. They soon became a gourmet food amongst European aristocrats. They were introduced to Britain by the Dutch with Henry VIII being particularly fond of them. They grew in his garden at Newhall.

They were taken to America in the early 1800’s by the French who settled in Louisiana. The Spanish later took them to California.

Artichokes are often called a ‘superfood’ due to the high level of antioxidants they contain.

They symbolise hope and prosperity due to their tender heart which is protected by layers of strong leaves.