Cynara cardunculus

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cynara cardunculus
Artichoke inflorescence with blue tubular flowers

Artichoke inflorescence with blue tubular flowers

Order : Astern-like (Asterales)
Family : Daisy family (Asteraceae)
Subfamily : Carduoideae
Tribe : Cynareae
Genre : Artichokes ( Cynara )
Type : Cynara cardunculus
Scientific name
Cynara cardunculus
Cardy fruits and seeds ( Cynara cardunculus )

Cynara cardunculus is a species of the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It is known for two cultures, the artichoke and cardy .


The annual plants germinate in late summer and form a strong rosette of leaves and a fleshy taproot over winter. In the spring and summer of the following year, the stem axis stretches and bears the inflorescences.

The leaves reach a length of 30 to 200 centimeters. They are deeply single or double pinnate, the leaf margin can be smooth or serrated. The leaves are covered with spines one to 30 millimeters long, especially along the midrib. The leaves are densely hairy gray or white on the underside, and only slightly hairy on the top.

The cup-shaped inflorescences appear on a 50 to 200 centimeter high stem . They measure three to 15 centimeters in length and four to 15 centimeters in width. The lower part of the fleshy bracts lies firmly one above the other, the upper part is protruding and ends in a sharp point. The purple tubular flowers are three to five inches long. Two to eight millimeters long achenes with a pappus of two to four centimeters long, feathery bristles are formed.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 34.


The frost-sensitive artichoke originally comes from the Mediterranean region ; from the eastern Mediterranean ( Turkey and Persia ) to North Africa , west to Spain and also on the Canary Islands . It is naturalized in other areas with a Mediterranean climate, such as California, South America, South Africa and Australia.


Cynara cardunculus is used as a vegetable in two different forms. In the artichoke group, the unopened inflorescences are harvested, in the cardy the bleached leaf veins. In addition, the leaves are used as a medicine because of their content of phenolic compounds such as caffeoylquinic acids and flavonoids, as well as terpenoid components such as sesquiterpene lactones .

In a study of Mediterranean diets, it was found that Cynara cardunculus has a mood-enhancing effect ( serotonin reuptake inhibitor ).

In Portugal , the raw sheep's milk for the regional cheeses Queijo de Azeitão and Queijo Serra da Estrela is thickened with an infusion from the stamens of Cynara cardunculus .


In 1992 Wiklund distinguished two subspecies of Cynara cardunculus :

  • Cynara cardunculus L. subsp. cardunculus - bracts blunt to pointed, rarely with a yellow margin, without or with thin spines. Widespread in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Cynara cardunculus subsp. flavescens Wiklund - bracts pointed, with a yellow margin and strong spines. Widespread in the western Mediterranean.

The range of the two subspecies overlaps in Sicily.

Greuter in Euro + Med names another subspecies:

  • Cynara cardunculus subsp. zingaroensis (Raimondo & Domina) Raimondo & Domina : It occurs only in Sicily.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . With the collaboration of Angelika Schwabe and Theo Müller. 8th, heavily revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 , pp.  967 .
  2. Heinz Schilcher , Hansjörg Hagels: Pressed juice from artichokes. Deutsche Apothekerzeitung 139, 1999, pp. 2725-2729
  3. ^ Understanding local Mediterranean diets, a multidisciplinary pharmacological and ethnobotanical approach. (PDF; 967 kB) In: Pharmacological Research . London 52.2005. ISSN  0031-6989
  4. ^ J. Marcelino Kongo, F. Xavier Malcata: Azeitão . In: Catherine Donnelly (Ed.): The Oxford Companion to Cheese . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2016, ISBN 978-0-19-933088-1 , pp. 53 .
  5. ^ J. Marcelino Kongo, F. Xavier Malcata: Serra da Estrela . In: Catherine Donnelly (Ed.): The Oxford Companion to Cheese . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2016, ISBN 978-0-19-933088-1 , pp. 647 .
  6. Werner Greuter (2006+): Compositae (pro parte majore). - In: W. Greuter & E. von Raab-Straube (ed.): Compositae. Euro + Med Plantbase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. Datasheet Cynara cardunculus In: Euro + Med Plantbase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity.


Web links

Commons : Cynara cardunculus  - collection of images, videos and audio files