Tenderheart Cardoon<br><b>SOLD OUT</b>
A mature 'Tenderheart' cardoon plant.

Tenderheart Cardoon

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The thick, fleshy leaf bases, hearts and roots are eaten.
'Tenderheart' Cardoon Certified Naturally Grown Seed
Cynara cardunculus

Cardoon is a clump forming tender perennial with pinnatifid (spiny) silver gray leaves that develop up to twenty inches long. Its purple, two to three inch flower heads develop throughout the summer growing season and attract many different pollinating insects. The plants can grow over seven feet tall and make an interesting and attractive addition as an edible ornamental in your beds and gardens.

They were first cultivated as a vegetable by the French and said to have been brought to America in the 1790s by the Quakers. A relative of the artichoke, the growing characteristics and requirements are similar. However, instead of eating the flower heads, like you do with an artichoke, the thick, fleshy, leaf stalks are eaten. Some people tie and blanch them by mounding with soil. They have a slightly spicy, celery-like flavor. Check out the recipe in the Cultivation / Harvest Information tab.

With a bit of care, some sources state that the perennial plants will remain productive for at least five to seven years. Ours were planted in 1999 and are still growing strong! Hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10, in colder climates, plants can be wrapped with paper and dirt mounded around them to overwinter. Each packet contains one gram, which is approximately 15 to 20 seeds.
Easier than artichokes!
This is a striking plant, even if you're not interested in eating it. Sort of like a bull thistle on steroids. Nice mild flavor that lends itself to dishes that you'd feature celery in. Does mimic mild artichoke flavor without all the trimming and fussing.
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Reviewed by:  from Molalla, OR. on 3/19/2017
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