Genus: Cynara

Cynara

Photo/Illustration: 
Steve Aitken
(Cynara)
sih-NAR-ah
Asteraceae
In the genus Cynara are ten or so species of clumping perennials from the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Canary Islands grown for their spiny, or at least pointed, large and silvery leaves and tall, thistle-like flowers. Grow them for their imposing growth habit in a border or as specimens.
Noteworthy characteristics:  Silvery foliage and thistle-like flowers on tall plants. Flowers attract insects and are nice in dried arrangements. Some species are edible.
Care:  Grow in a sheltered spot in full sun with well-drained soil. Give  Cynara plenty of space. Removing the flowering stems will keep the attention on the architectural foliage, but is not mandatory.
Propagation: 

Sow seed in a cold frame or divide in spring, or take root cuttings in winter.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Cynara

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Cardoon
Cynara cardunculus
Problems: 

Aphids and slugs can be troublesome, as can gray mold and root rot.