The artichoke or globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is a perennial plant of the Asteraceae family. They first came from Southern Europe around the Mediterranean. The thick scales and bottom parts of the young flower heads can be eaten. They are a culinary delicacy. The bottom part of the young flower head is called a heart.
It grows to 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) to 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery glaucous-green leaves 50–82 cm long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. It is a soure of vitamins.