UT Gardens’ June Plant of the Month
Sue Hamilton, retired director of the University of Tennessee Gardens, used to give a presentation on big, bold, and bodacious plants. Our featured plant this month would certainly warrant inclusion in this category. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) is a perennial plant in USDA zones 7 and 8, and has very structural, deeply incised, spiky blue-green or silvery foliage that makes a statement in the landscape.
Related to the artichoke and thistle, the flowers of cardoon are very similar, with large purple blooms produced on a sturdy stalk in summer. The plant itself can reach three to five feet tall, with the flower stalk growing up to six feet.
Read more at the UT Gardens’ site.
The UT Gardens includes plant collections located in Knoxville, Crossville and Jackson, Tennessee. Designated as the official botanical garden for the State of Tennessee, the UT Gardens are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture. The Gardens’ mission is to foster appreciation, education and stewardship of plants through garden displays, educational programs and research trials. The Gardens are open during all seasons and free to the public.
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