A first for all the Cardoons I have planted over previous years--blooms! I love large plants used as exclamation points in my garden and this summer my Cardoon performed outstandingly. I have planted it occasionally over the past 10 years and enjoy the fast growth and large leaves. I was quite happy with this but for some reason this summer offered this floriferous reward.
I have always planted them in the same location: the only full sun area of my yard. Our summer began quite late, cool and wet and said plant was planted in the second week of June. This was a rather late date as normally our planting time is May 24. By August it had buds on it and the following picture shows how tall it grows as the five foot seven inch me is beside it.
With very late frost this autumn the buds began opening in late September.
Downside - don't get too close as it is of the thistle family! Also, sometimes referred to as the artichoke thistle.
As a herb parts are edible, mainly the succulent leaf stems. The Cardoon is of the same family as the globe artichoke whose fame is the delectable edible "globes" or unopened flowers found in markets or grocery produce sections.