Cardoon: Cynara cardunculus 'Porto Spineless'
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Cardoon: Cynara cardunculus 'Porto Spineless'

Cardoon: Cynara cardunculus 'Porto Spineless'

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SKU: S71491
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Quick Facts
Common Name: Cardoon
Hardiness Zone: Annual Exposure: Sun
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Blooms In: Jun-Sep
Mature Height: 3-4’ Spacing: 4’
Read our Growing Guide Ships as: 1 PINT 28.86 CU IN.
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Product Details

Product Details

With steel-gray, spiked leaves resembling Acanthus, Cardoon is an imposing plant and makes an attractive feature in containers with annuals. Our variety, Cynara cardunculus 'Porto Spineless,' is without the prickly spines typical of the species. It is perennial in Zones 7-10, where, late in the season, a central stem forms with flower buds resembling small artichokes.

Cynara is a genus of about 10 species in the Daisy family. The Artichokes, or Chokes, are immature flower buds.  

For more information on growing Cynara, click Growing Guide.




The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.


We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. We also ship a wide range of containers and planters, tools, supplies, fertilizers, garden wear, garden decor items, as well as indoor decorations like wreaths and dried bouquets when available. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the green Shipping Details box for each item. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at the expected time of delivery.


We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.



Average Customer Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (2 Reviews) Write a Review

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They won't stop growing!

I ordered three from the website last year. They looked healthy but a little sad when they arrived, just the root ball and a few leaves. Planted them in a sunny spot and one died within a a few weeks (probably my fault as I accidentally stepped on it). The other two took a little bit to get started but have been growing like crazy. Ten months in and they are about five feet tall and six feet in diameter! They are great, just don't plant them too close to anything else!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no  Certified buyer

planted in same area, different success?

I bought and planted 3 of these cardoons to provide some nice contrast as an annual in my garden. They were all planted in the same area on the south side of my garden (full sun), but results are inconsistent. One is vigorously growing, one is about the same size as when planted, and one has died and was replaced with a plant from a local nursery. I have not treated these any differently so can't quite figure out what happened, but perhaps it's a hit or miss plant in a midwestern climate.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful. Do you? yes no  Certified buyer

Growing guide

Growing guide
Print Grow Guide

Latin Name Pronunciation: sih-nar'-ah

The species in this genus of thistle-like perennials include Cynara scolymus (the edible Globe Artichoke) as well as C. cardunculus 'Porto Spineless'. The silver-gray, serrated foliage of the spineless variety makes a dramatic statement in borders or containers and attracts beneficial insects. Its violet-blue flower heads with spiny bracts develop branched, wooly stems the second year in the garden (where hardy) and can be picked for fresh or dry arrangements.

Light/Watering: Full sun. Water thoroughly after planting, and then, give a new plant a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1in per week). Established plants are drought resistant.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Average garden soil. We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. We fertilize perennials just once--in early spring--with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 10-10-10 or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care: Foliage is improved if flower stems are cut off as they appear. Protect from strong winds. In the colder extent of its Zone 7 range, apply a dry winter mulch of pine needles. Slugs and aphids can be a problem.