Artichokes ready for seed harvest

Artichokes for seed are always exciting. Do they contain a lot of seeds? Potentially yes – but! More contain only few seeds, and even more no seeds at all.

Artichoke pappus

At the very first touch to the dry artichoke head you realise it is a thistle. You rapidly learn to break them open without getting thorns into your skin. Being a thistle and a relative of dandelion, the seeds are connected to the pappus, unfolding like a parachute to spread the seed by the wind. Artichoke seeds are large, I really don’t think it works that way anymore. The original wild artichoke probably had smaller seeds, allowing the wind to grab the pappus and take the seeds up in the air.

Artichoke seeds naturel

Artichoke seeds must be large and resist a light pressure. There are only few large seeds, and most I discard at once due to softness when pressed between my fingers.

Artichoke seed harvest of the year

Out of six artichoke heads, I only had large pressure resistant seeds from three. One had a fair amount of seeds, two others only small numbers. Not impressing. But a few of them might grow in spring, producing new plants. If any of these plants survive a couple of winters, it’s a miracle. I do hope for a miracle. But for now I willdry the seeds and store them with tender loving care.

It is all seeds from the variety ‘Herrgård’. My other varieties are still young in my garden, possibly the reason they didn’t set seeds at all.