Definition of cardoon in US English:



  • A tall thistle-like southern European plant related to the globe artichoke, with leaves and roots that may be used as vegetables.

    Cynaracardunculus, family Compositae

    • ‘As a wild plant, the cardoon is notably persistent and fast-spreading.’
    • ‘There's a little purple potato from Switzerland, a sprawling cardoon of Tours, his own breeds of tomatoes and dahlias.’
    • ‘Other taxonomists insist that the wild artichoke gave rise to the cultivated cardoon, while still others feel it was the cardoon that begat the artichoke.’
    • ‘In Italy, look out for varieties of elegantly grey-leaved cardoons and artichokes, zucchini, cavolo nero, flat Neapolitan parsley, Principe di Bologna tomatoes and rocket (rucola).’
    • ‘It was a Spanish picture, a rare, early still-life of a cardoon and francolin by Juan Sanchez Cotan, offered at Christie's on 8 January, which found the highest price.’
    • ‘So was her garden, where cardoons (in Italian, cardoni; in French, cardons) flourished.’
    • ‘Although I've grown my fair share of veg from the slightly more unusual end of the allotment crop market, such as cardoons, that doesn't mean I've grown all the conventional varieties you'll find on the plot.’
    • ‘Cynara cardunculus: the cardoon is surely the daddy of all seed heads.’
    • ‘Other edibles include thistle-like giant globe artichokes that vie for attention with the real thing, cardoon thistles as big as your fist and a fennel patch which can only be described as a forest.’
    • ‘But there are also edible species of biennial, including carrots, parsley, parsnips and globe artichoke or cardoon.’
    • ‘A tabletop glows with help from simple arrangements of gilded eucalyptus leaves, allium seed heads, poppy pods, and a cardoon.’
    • ‘On 8 December, Christie's London offer Still life with cardoon and francolin by the enigmatic Spanish master Juan Sanchez Cotan.’
    • ‘One or two other insidious pests have crept almost unnoticed into my garden this month including blackfly, which have infested the tall flowering stems of the cardoons.’


Early 17th century: from French cardon, from carde ‘edible part of an artichoke’, from modern Provençal cardo, based on Latin carduus, cardus ‘thistle, artichoke’.