The Q&A Archives: Artichoke

Question: How do artichokes grow?

Answer: Artichokes are the unopened flower buds from a plant which is a member of the thistle family. If the buds were allowed to open, they would have a purple center, just like the thistle weeds that grow along roadsides. Artichoke plants are perennial plants in warm winter regions, or annual plants in colder areas. They grow best in full sunshine and regular water. As the foliage matures, flowering stems are produced from the crown of the plant. Atop each stem will be one (or more) flower buds. As these buds grow and mature, but before the petals expand fully to expose the purple center, the artichokes are harvested, cooked and eaten. Hope this answers your question!

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