Domestic Encyclopædia (1802)/Artichoke
ARTICHOKE, or the Cynara, L. though an exotic, is a plant well known and much cultivated in this country. There are four species, but only two are reared for use, viz. the scolymus, or garden ardchoke, and the cardunculus, or cardoon, both of which are propagated by slips, or suckers, arising in spring, from the roots of the old plants. The slips should be taken from good plants in March, or the beginning of April, and set in an open quarter of the kitchen-garden, in rows at the distance of five feet from each other. By this process, artichokes may be produced in the autumn of the same year. The size of their fruit will gradually diminish, after the third or fourth year, though the roots continue sound for several seasons. The cardoon, which is a hardy plant, may be propagated by seeds sown in March. As these plants are very large, they ought to be placed at the distance of several feet from each other; and thus crops of spinach, endive, cabbage, or brocoli, may be raised between the rows. About Michaelmas, the cardoons generally attain to a considerable size; the leaves of each plant should then be tied, that they may be hoed, for the purpose of blanching; which will require six or eight weeks. Thus the plants will be fit for use in November or December, and continue the whole winter.
Artichokes flourish best in a rich and moist soil; but if it be too wet, the roots are apt to decay in severe frosts. They have been used with advantage in the making of soda; and the leaves of the scolymus, prepared with bismuth, impart to wool a fine and permanent gold colour.