Cynara cardunculus, Cardoon

Cynara cardunculus, Cardoon is native to central Asia and southern Europe, cultivated by the Romans as a vegetable, mostly for the leaf stalks, eaten as we would asparagus. Produced in ancient times on the north African coast and once among the most expensive vegetables in Roman markets. Introduced into English gardens in the 1650s, the stalks are blanched, and eaten like celery, with oil and vinegar; also boiled or stewed. Differs from artichoke, being a taller plant with more finely divided leaves, beset with spines, and smaller flowerheads.

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