Artichoke, Cardoon 'Imperial Star'

Cynara scolymus

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cynara (SIN-uh-ruh) (Info)
Species: scolymus (SKOL-ee-mus) (Info)
Cultivar: Imperial Star



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Perris, California

Redwood City, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Grinnell, Iowa

Michie, Tennessee

Morgantown, West Virginia

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 9, 2011, DocClabo from Oshkosh, WI wrote:

Imperial Star is suitable for growing as an annual, although I have read that vernalization is still beneficial.

I have grown this variety the last two years in Wisconsin in barrel halves. Although I did not get large numbers of artichokes, the ones I got were delicious.

Artichokes grown as an annual require starting in midwinter and I vernalized twice by refrigerating the seeds for two weeks in wet paper towels, then again by putting the young plants out in early May (last frost date is June1). I brought the young plants inside the garage any time that it was likely to frost.


On Feb 21, 2010, MaryNeedsSleep from Morgantown, WV wrote:

I'm a newbie gardener, and I was able to grow them easily from seed. This variety is promoted for supposedly producing in its first year, making it possible to grow it as an annual, but I was not so lucky. Mine did not produce in the first year, in spite of my attempts to chill the seedlings for a few weeks before transplanting.

They did survive a Zone 6 winter, however. I cut them down almost to the ground for winter and covered them. The next spring they grew well and produced several artichokes per plant. The foliage is lovely -- if I lived in a warm climate, I would put artichokes in my front yard!

If you are starting them from seed, note that they are slow growing. Start them 10 weeks before transplant time.


On Jul 25, 2006, jozeeben from Acton, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Lost about half to some sort of wilt - some produce loads then died. Some we're still waiting on. We been having the same problem with zucchini, some of the peppers & tomatoes. Artichokes take up a lot of space and are too much trouble for us. We'll be buying artichoke hearts at Costco!


On Mar 15, 2006, afr from Dallas, TX wrote:

I bought three plants from a local nursery in Dallas, Texas, in the spring/summer of 2005. All settled in very well and performed well in a very hot, exceptionally dry summer. All three survived the dry winter and as of March 2006 are actively and vigorously growing again. One of the three plants, which is in a protected location next to a retaining wall and fence, suffered no freeze damage at all and looks magnificent at 5' in diameter and 3' high. One of the other plants produced two pups at the base, which I carefully removed and transplanted elsewhere in the garden in February 2006. So far, I am extremely pleased with this variety and look forward to the buds/blossoms.


On Aug 21, 2005, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A thornless high yielding cultivar.