Artichoke leaf, also known as Cynara scolymus are the spike-tipped petals of the well known vegetable, the globe artichoke. All of the different species of Cynara look like thistles, because they are tall, spiny short-lived perennial plants whose large flower heads open exposing seeds when the Cynara scolymus goes through its decline each growing season.
Artichoke leafs form as scales on the bud of artichokes that you typically find for sale at your local grocery. Artichokes and artichoke leaf are actually the flower buds of the herb, and are deliciously edible, as is the base of the bud, known as the heart. Artichokes require a warm climate for good growth, are typically grown in California and the Mediterranean countries, and can be grown from seed or by various plant propagation methods. The height of harvest for the buds of the artichoke herb occurs in the spring. Artichoke leaf is commonly used to promote digestion. The leaves of are typically gathered right at the end of the plant’s growing season.
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