Cynara cardunculus 'Gigante'
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 4 feet
Flower Height: 6 feet
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 7
Other Names: Artichoke Thistle
Splendid arching silvery, spiny foliage is an architectural delight in the garden; careful when handling the spiny foliage; leaf stalks and midribs are edible if blanched; perfect for containers or along borders
Gigante Cardoon features showy violet pincushion flowers rising above the foliage from late spring to early summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its attractive spiny lobed leaves remain gray in color with distinctive silver veins throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Gigante Cardoon is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Gigante Cardoon is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Planting & Growing
Gigante Cardoon will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity extending to 6 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 3 feet. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.