Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Varieties of Artichoke

There are  2 main varieties of artichokes to choose from: Imperial Start and Opera. Depending on the region in which you live, artichokes are either perennial or annual. In milder climates, such a those up to zone 7, artichokes can be grown as perennials. In zones 8 and higher or where winters are harsh, artichokes are grown as annuals.

Imperial Star Artichoke

Imperial Star: High-yielding. Plants produce 6-8 mature buds about 3-4" tall. Produces first season from seed. Perennial in zone 7, annual in all other zones. Thornless. Easy to grow from seed. 85 days.

Opera: Early variety. High-yielding. Plants grow to 2 ½ - 3 feet tall and produce 3-4 primary  3-4" buds and 6-8 secondary 1 ½ - 2 3/4" buds. Perennial in zone 7, annual in all other zones. 100 days.

Jerusalem Artichoke: Tubers. Potato-like taste and water chestnut-like texture. Can be harvested fall to spring. Stores well. Perennial.

Stampede (Jerusalem artichoke): High-yielding. Extra early tubers grow to ½ pound in size. Winter hardy. Stores well. Zones 3-8.

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