Antique type, related to the artichoke. A perennial. The leafstalks, which are covered by dark plastic a few weeks before harvesting in order to blanch them, have a fresh taste. When harvested early (August) unblanched they are still juicy and tender. When harvested late (October) the taste is somewhat bitter and the crop a little tougher. The inner veins, the heart and the flower are edible. Sow as of April in a greenhouse, in early May in the garden. Both the leaves and flowers are attractive.