Cynara cardunculus

9cm pot £4.99
available to order from late autumn
3 × 9cm pots £14.97 £12.95
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Cynara cardunculus cardoon: Attractive thistle-like flower-heads

This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: fertile, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: June to September
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    Huge, purple, thistle-like flowers from June to September held above enormous clumps of deeply-cut, silvery-green leaves. This magnificent, architectural plant is perfect towards the back of a mixed or herbaceous border. For the best results it needs full sun, lots of space and shelter from strong winds.

  • Garden care: Avoid the temptation to remove the faded flower-heads in autumn as they provide interest in the winter garden. Where temperatures fall below -15°C (5°F) protect the crown of the plant with a dry winter, straw mulch.

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Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread
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Statuesque plant


Good size plant on arrival, good growth first and second year. Likes full sun .

The Pod



majestic plant


Very attractive plant in the border in the front garden. Great for the bees. One plant flourished, the other hasn't but it is still alive so we will transplant it next to the good one.

southern jesse



Beautiful, if your lucky


The first ones I purchased were amazing, loved them. Unfortunately, due to floods they disappeared. I have since purchased others but have not been successful as all I get are leaves but still live in hope.




I may have been optimistic buying this plant - the Cardoon.


I wanted it to be a feature in a border outside my front door but it has only just survived. It didn't bloom until late Autumn and hardly grew at all. I was expecting the tall architectural beauty that I had enjoyed in Herefordshire, but it is a bit sad! I cannot blame the condition in which it arrived, the service of "Crocus" or the instructions.

Nana Heather



Good strong plant


Strong plant which has overwintered well.




Cynara cardunculus


Plants arrived as scheduled. Planting instructions were clear and easy to follow. We planted in September 2018 and by June 2019 we had a magnificent display of good tall plants. Delighted with the plants and the service provided by Crocus


north London


Fab plant success rate high


Crocus sell good plants plants




Never thrived


plant never really thrived. Was weedy and floppy in yr 1, with no sign of a flower, it came back well in yr 2 but leaves were floppy and scoured - and prey to snails. Has now collapsed with no hope of resurrection.




Very attractive plant and would buy again.


Absolutely brilliant plant for back of flower bed. Am looking forward to it flowering.All Crocus plants are healthy and well packed. It is the only online company I use for plants.


Wickham Hampshire



4.2 9


If I buy these in 9cm pots now can they go in the ground? Or how is best to keep them over winter


You could plant them now with some horticultural grit and or sharp sand or wait until next spring. If your soil is heavy clay, you could keep them in a cold frame over winter and gradually harden them off before planting. If you don't have a cold frame, somewhere outside where the worst of the winter rain is kept off the plants - such as the roof overhang of a garage or shed.


I need to add to the Thistle plants already in my garden to increase the " show " I have bought from you before with excellent results. How are the plants supplied and when do I cut back the existing for re growth. I have read regarding leaving the tops on in winter. Thank you.

Keen gardner with no idea

Hello there We sell these in 9cm or 2lt pots. We say to leave the flowerheads for interest in the winter garden, but if they go brown and soggy I would cut them back. If we have a cold winter and temperature falls below -15°C (5°F) I would protect the crown of the plant with a dry, straw mulch.

Bare root beauties-Thistles! Hi We bought some ornamental thistle plants from you earlier this year which have grown really well and the thistles were superb. The thistles are starting to die off now can you tell me what to do with plants and the thistles now that winter is coming on. Thank You Gill

Gillian Brady

Hello Gill, I think you purchased the Cynaras, so you should avoid the temptation to remove the faded flower-heads in autumn as they provide interest in the winter garden, and if temperatures fall below -15??C (5??F) protect the crown of the plant with a dry, straw mulch now. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

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