There are around 10 species of these thistle-like robust plants found around the Mediterranean. Enjoying warm, sunny locations, but due to their size, preferring a deep, rich soil. Lighter soils, will mean smaller plants. Some forms of cardoon, C. cardunculus are grown in the vegetable garden, where the edible leaves and stems are blanched (to make them less bitter). C. scolymus (which is likely to be a form or hybrid associated with C. cardunculus) is the globe artichoke, grown for its tasty but rather fiddly to prepare flower heads!