The cardoon, Cynara cardunculus, of the Asteraceae family, is native to the Mediterranean coasts. It is often called Spanish thistle, wild cardoon or wild artichoke. It has large bluish green leaves, lobed and fleshy. Cardon argenté de Plainpalais and Cardon de Tours have thorns and are very appreciated for their delicate taste. The most frequently cultivated unarmed cultivars (thornless) are Cardoon red from Algiers, Cardon green from Vaulx-en-Velin and Cardon Plein white unarmed. The main attraction ofcardoon artichoke is to be able to be consumed. Its culture is therefore that of a vegetable plant.
It may happen that the cardoon shows traces of mildew. It must be carefully monitored and treated preventively. The ideal is to use natural products.
Cardoon seedlings are to be done under cover then must be separated into pots as soon as the small plants proudly display their five small leaves. Wait one month after sowing to transplant the cardoon in place. Previously, it is necessary to loosen and weed the soil where the cardoon will be planted. Choose a sunny place, a rich soil. In the vegetable patch, the cardoon needs space. The deep holes are 80 cm apart and 1.5 m distance must be kept between the rows of cardoons.
From planting, a fine and generous watering is essential. Afterwards, care must be taken to maintain a certain freshness on the ground in the event of drought. Apart from this meteorological peculiarity, regular hoeing is generally sufficient. Mulching is welcome.
From August, it is necessary to whiten the foot of the cardoon. This operation makes it possible to obtain the removal of bitterness and to soften the vegetable. To do this, simply tie the top of the cardoon to put the petiole in the dark.
The wild cardoon, which has joined the list of forgotten vegetables, is interesting in terms of taste, and is often used as a tagine. It allows to bring calcium and potassium at the origin. On the other hand, fragile intestines can be somewhat bothered by the inulin (fructose) it contains. Also useful for maintaining good intestinal transit, the cardoon contains mucilage known for its laxative powers. Finally, cynarin, which gives it this particular bitterness, is known to purify the liver. Find the cardoon seeds in the shop!