A giant thistle relative up to 2 meters tall with large grey green foliage and giant thistle like flower heads. It is these heads from which artichokes are harvested. This must be done while the heads are still young and it has an edible base, called the heart, from which the bracts appear from. If the bracts get to flowering age and the clusters of small flowers appear then the base of the flower head loses its great flavour and tends to become woody. The inner bracts can also be eaten as well as the heart.
If left to late you will lose the edible part but you will be rewarded with a gorgeous head of purple flowers. Flowering starts in summer through to autumn so you will have plenty of time to both harvest and allow some heads to flower which bees absolutely love. Very easy to grow tolerating any well drained soil and full sun. Remove old foliage as soon as the plant gets knocked back by frost and lift and divide every 3 to 5 years discarding old central growth. If an exceptionally cold winter is forecast mulch with straw.
Sent as a young plant in a 9cm pot. May be cut back for shipping and will be sent as dormant plants in winter.
Additional photos By Jamain - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20737898