Planting out Both are cousins with thistles and like them have spikes on the edges of the leaves. Cardoons are similar to globe artichokes in appearance but are grown for their stalks and thick midribs, which are blanched just before harvesting. They also flower with the characteristic artichoke-like flower. It has become an extremely important medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. My final Globe and Mail article for the 2010 growing season was on growing and eating cardoon.Cardoon is lesser-known relative of the artichoke that is considered a delicacy in Mediterranean cuisine. Cardoons are close relatives of artichokes. Leaves are very similar to artichoke, as is the size of the plant, 3-4 feet high. Quick Tip Planting Guide: Depth to Plant Spacing Between Plants Days to Germinate (Sprout) GerminationSoil Temp Planting Season The first year I grew a single plant and it was big and beautiful and I fell in love with it, but it didn't survive the winter. 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