Sunday, August 01, 2010

The artichokes are blooming

And they're abuzz with insects collecting nectar. And one tiny little spider who seems to have taken up residence in one of the flower heads. But I don't have good photos of any of that.

Artichokes in bloom.

I have no idea how long these plants will last. This is the fourth year they've come back and bloomed. When we put them in I was under the impression that they might go two seasons if we were lucky. We did lose one or two to cold, but the three others continue to sprout at the slightest hint of warm weather. Sometimes they die back once or twice in late winter/early spring if warm days alternate with cold spells.

Looking down on the flower. The tiny white dot to the right of center is a spider.

I couldn't decide which of these pictures to post, so I posted all three. As I've said before, these artichokes are not so good to eat because they're small and tough. Maybe if we pick them when they're new they'd be tender and good, but we haven't tried that. There's always next spring.

They're quite beautiful, then they dry and make fluffy seeds.


  1. OMG, it's the first time I see it blooming. I thought it's green all the time. What a beautiful! Wow! Thanks Walt.

  2. I've never seen an artichoke bloom before. It's beautiful.

  3. Who knew they could bloom?

    But they are beautiful and look a lot like Scottish thistle.

  4. Buy artichokes to eat at the store and keep these for the flowers. They are gorgeous!

  5. I think they're worth growing just for the beautiful flowers.

  6. Another plant you could try, Walt, is the Cardoon... grown for the blooms in summer and then, once established, for the young shoots in the spring.
    You need to wrap the shoots you want to eat in brown paper to blanch them....'else they'll taste bitter.
    The shoots can be treated as for celery/chard stalks and poached in a light stock... or peeled and the centres steamed and served up with butter.

  7. They are too pretty to eat!

  8. those are not artichokes, they are triffids; I have warned you before...

  9. vtt, you're welcome!

    cubby, amazing how many of you are saying that!

    diogenes, artichokes are, in fact, thistles! Good call!

    nadege, exactly.

    starman, I agree.

    tim, I'll look into that. Thanks.

    alewis, yup!

    michael, I keep my eye on them. Not to worry.

  10. C'est toujours sympa de laisser 2 ou 3 artichaud fleurir :)

  11. I'm an artichoke bloom virgin too. I'm speechless at this flowers' unusual beauty.

  12. kyle, they don't last long, but they're really nice. The plants look good in the garden, too.


Pour your heart out! I'm listening.