Artichokes are one of the tastiest plants that you can cook at home in a variety of different ways and are extremely interesting and beautiful plants to grow in your own home.
Artichokes are divided into two categories: elongated and globe. Elongated artichokes have the same nutritional values as globe artichokes but are elongated in size, hence their name.
Globe artichokes are the artichokes that you find in stores and are round, heavy, and usually purple and/or green.
Artichoke plants are members of the Asteraceae family and are part of the same family as sunflowers. Artichokes have edible flower buds and are grown all over the world in hot climates.
You can find artichokes being grown in Italy, Spain, South America, and US artichoke crops are grown in California.
There are lots of ways to care for your artichoke plants in your own home and it can be as simple as making sure that the plants have plenty of sunlight and water.
It is important to keep your artichoke plants at temperatures between 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but you must make sure that the soil is cool for the plants to grow properly.
If you are looking to educate yourself on which artichokes are the best tasting, then we have that covered for you. In our list below are some of the most well-known artichoke plants that you are able to purchase around the world.
The artichokes complement a variety of dishes and have a range of flavors from sweet to bitter aftertastes.
We have put together a list of some of the different types of artichoke plants that you are able to grow yourself to get a better understanding of these plants.
The Violetta artichokes are native to Italy and are instantly recognizable due to their purple leaves with green tips. You are able to eat the buds and the scales of the Violetta artichokes and the plants will continue to produce buds if they are grown correctly.
When growing Violetta artichokes, you need to make sure that the artichokes are not harvested when they are tight as this means they are not ready and need more time to grow.
Siena artichokes are elongated artichokes that are long in shape and have a very distinctive deep red color on their scales.
Siena artichokes are a popular artichoke to eat as they have hearts that are soft and tender enough to melt in your mouth when you eat them raw.
The hearts produced are 4 inches long and are a deep red color like the scales. The Siena artichoke is one of the last artichokes to mature.
The Castel plants produce large, round artichokes that are categorized as globe artichokes. It is best to consume Castel artichokes between May to October as this is the period where the artichokes taste the best.
The petioles can grow between 6-8cm long which creates the thick round structure of the artichoke. Castel artichokes are usually found in Italy and France that are green when they are raw but turn orange or yellow when cooked.
Castel artichokes are rumored to lower blood pressure and aid in soothing digestion issues.
Green Globe Artichoke
The Green Globe artichokes have heads that grow up to 5 inches and one plant can produce up to 4 or 5 heads at a time. Inside the artichoke, there is an edible portion that can be removed from the choke (the flower bud) that is longer and shaped like a spear.
You can also eat the choke of the Green Globe and they are very popular in Italy and Australia. They have a creamy taste and are often used in Mediterranean dishes.
The globe Romanesco artichokes are grown in Italy and Spain and take roughly 85 days to mature before they can be eaten.
Romanesco artichokes are known for containing lots of antioxidants and also help to lower cholesterol.
The Romanesco artichoke is the only artichoke to have flowers on top and you are able to grow Romanesco artichokes in your back garden. The Romanesco artichokes have smaller heads compared to other artichokes.
Jerusalem artichokes have a distinctively earthy look to them and have a brown, scaly exterior. They are tuberous plants that are closely related to artichokes and sunflowers.
Jerusalem artichokes have edible roots that can be boiled but the hearts are not edible to eat. The plant is very versatile as the leaves are used in herbal teas or wines and the long shoots can be eaten raw in dishes such as salads.
Big Heart Artichoke
The Big Heart artichokes are very well known and are often found in Italy and Spain. The hearts are edible and very popular in a variety of dishes worldwide and the Big Heart artichoke is different from others as it can also be eaten whole.
This type of artichoke has a distinctive taste that lies somewhere between a cabbage and a green bean that does not have a bitter taste.
Baby Anzio Artichoke
The Baby Anzio artichokes are a distant relative of the Romanesco artichoke and originate from Italy.
The Baby Anzio artichokes are small in size as they usually grow up to 1 inch wide with compact buds, and they are green and red in color with round leaves.
You are able to grow these plants at home but only if you live in warm states such as California or Florida as these artichokes need the heat in order to grow.
Chianti artichokes were first developed in Canada which means that they are able to grow in colder and more adverse climates compared to artichoke plants that need lots of heat and sunlight to grow.
Chianti artichokes are very recognizable with their purple buds and scales and white bottom.
The stem is edible and the leaves and buds are thick and heavy as the Chianti artichokes usually weigh between 2.0lbs and 5lbs, but a Chianti artichoke was once recorded as weighing over 18lbs so they can sometimes grow heavier.
Chinese artichokes can grow up to 2m in length and is one of the most popular vegetables in China and can be found in the USA and Europe due to their popularity.
The plants live for more than 2 years and can take 3-5 years to mature so that you can experience the great taste of Chinese artichokes.
The plant has thick, furry, arrow-shaped leaves and it is advised that you eat them while they are young for the best taste.
The King artichoke is a large and thick artichoke that can weigh up to 1kg and 4ft tall. The King artichokes are known for their bitter aftertaste but they have a rich flavor that is also quite sweet.
They have thick leaves with green tips and pale white bases, and the bud of the artichoke is large and resembles the King chess piece. The King artichoke plants are very popular to grow at home.
The Fiesole artichoke is a dark green plant that has thick leaves and produces large buds once it has reached maturity after 120 days.
The stems of the plant are edible and have a strong sweet flavor when consumed and thrive best in warm climates as the Fiesole artichoke was first developed in Kenya.
Although they prefer warmer climates, they are tolerant of colder weather. The plants can grow as high as 4-5ft tall and are manageable to maintain.
The California artichokes are usually grown in America, hence their name, but they are also grown in Spain, France, and Italy.
They have broad leaves that are thicker and wider compared to some other artichoke plants that are longer in length and can be found in a variety of colors including burgundy, dark green, and light green.
California artichokes have a strong taste that resembles a cardoon and can be cooked in a variety of different ways.
The Tempo artichokes have green and purple-tinted leaves and the plant produces up to 4 large buds, each with a diameter of 5 inches that makes them very distinctive from other artichokes.
The artichokes have thick stems and long, large leaves that can be harvested up to 10 days earlier than other artichokes.
The Tempo artichoke plants can grow up to 4ft tall and they are able to withstand colder temperatures as they can be planted between September and October.
Imperial Star Artichoke
The Imperial Star artichoke plants can grow up to 4ft tall and wide and each plant usually produces up to 8 buds that are 4 inches wide.
The artichokes are ready to harvest after 85 days for the sweetest flavor and they require sunlight and rain in order to grow fully.
The best temperatures to keep Imperial Star artichokes in are between 18-26 degrees Celcius for optimum growth, but also exposing the plants to cooler nighttime temperatures aids the growth of the buds.