Dr. Joe Masabni
Department of Horticulture
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
The globe artichoke is a member of the Composite family, closely related to the thistle. The edible part is from the immature flower bud. If the buds or “globes” are not harvested, 6 inch bluish, thistle-like flower heads develop. The edible portion of the “globe” is composed of the fleshy bases of the flower bracts and the receptacle to which the bracts are attached, known as the “heart.”
The globe artichoke is not grown commercially in Texas, but some home gardeners along the Texas coast grow it. It is grown from crown divisions of parent plants which are planted in rows 5 feet apart with at least 3 feet between plants. First harvest occurs approximately 1 year after planting.
Select globes that are dark green, heavy for their size and free of blemishes. The globe should be tight and compact. Avoid those that are beginning to open. Good quality globe artichokes can be stored in refrigeration for about 2 weeks without loss of quality. Highest quality is maintained by storing near 32oF. with over 90 percent humidity.