Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Glorious Thistle

I am embarrassed to admit that I had never seen an artichoke in bloom. As much as I love eating artichokes, and as often as I ave seen thistles in bloom, I wasn't prepared for this:

Isn't that the most impressive flower you've ever seen?

Things to do before I leave California: #9 has been crossed off the list.


Malia said...

Never seen that before! Crazy!
Do artichokes grow wild around Point Arena??

Steve said...

It's not surprising that this should be a rare sight- who doesn't want to harvest their artichokes before they fully bloom? But I have seen them in yards with an overabundance of the delicious flowers. I also had a plant in my yard when I was living in Eugene that is related to the artichoke, though totally inedible. I don't remember the name, but the flowers were similar though smaller. They look kind of like outsized thistle flowers. I've seen a ton of them around Portland this summer.

caitlinvb said...

We have a LOT of thistles around here, too - they love the high humidity and the cool nights, and the dry heat when it does get hot (for like 5 minutes in September). The issue Malia, is that deer LOVE artichokes - so people have to grow them in fenced in gardens - which is a lot of work so you absolutely want to pick them and not let them go to 'waste'. Last time I was in Monterey I drove through the artichoke farms in Watsonville - it was like some strange SciFi set. I kept waiting for Captain Kirk to pop out and chase after aliens through them.....

This was a globe artichoke (like the ones you get in the store) that had bloomed - and someone gave it to Franny randomly in the parking lot of our hotel. It was the size of a dinner plate at an over-priced French restaurant.