20 September 2012

So This Is Invasive

When looking into the information about my cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) this summer, [posted 2012.07.07] I ran across several sources that label it as an invasive species, especially on the U.S. west coast. According to the USDA Invasive and Noxious Plants List, California brands it as a noxious weed. Now I know why. The tall plant has some rather voluminous, nasty looking (although not very sharp) cauldrons of seeds. They dried during the summer and broke open, spewing thousands of silky, airy, floating seeds to populate my neighbors' yards. I can't wait until they find artichokes growing in their lawn next year.

I can see why this is considered an invasive in some parts with a seed dispersal system like this. One hopes for my sake that they do not easily germinate next year.

The cardoon plants were cut down after they went to seed last month. I was thinking it was an annual, and began planning for what could take its place next year. But after my week long vacation trip, I came home to find the darn thing is growing again! No, it is NOT an annual. I need to add its move to the fall chores list, since I will not keep it in its present location. One good point: I have lots of contributions for the annual gardeners seed exchange that I attend in late January.

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: pink cosmos, cosmos, canna, mexican zinnia, zinnia, acidanthera, coneflower
  • Harvested: 2 tomatoes, 1 cucumber


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...
Have a fellow Master Gardener who is growing Cardoons...she loves it!! I have been trying to veer away from anything that is an aggressive reseeder. I do love the bold foliage and architectural qualities of the cardoon.....pretty cool looking.
Les said...
I almost wish it was invasive here. I have tried it several times and it seems to be a short-lived perennial never lasting more than two years. It could just be me though.
Swimray said...
Can't help it, but invasives love my garden! I planted the cardoon in my south side "7B" microclimate (our area is 7A.)