Cynara cardunculus is a tough herbaceous perennial plant with deeply lobed and heavily spined, grey-green, and hairy leaves on yellow spines. The flowers of this globe artichoke are violet-purple, and it produces a large head from an edible bud that grows to 3–6″ in diameter with numerous triangular scales. The edible portions of the buds consist primarily of the fleshy lower portions at the base. This plant does best in full sun in well-drained soil and preferably protected from strong winds. It also needs plenty of room to spread. It’s native to the western and central Mediterranean region, where it was domesticated in ancient times. It is easy to grow in the Bay Area and is quite adaptable to a variety of soil types.