We usually sell 'Green Globe' artichoke plants in quart or gallon containers and at that size, it's hard to visualize how big and beautiful this perennial can become in just a season or two. Large gray-green, hairy leaves form a fountain-shaped plant, three to five feet tall and two to three feet wide. Artichokes form at the top of the stem and are ready to harvest in the summer. Left on the plant, the artichoke will eventually bloom, revealing spectacular purple thistle-like flowers that bees adore. After harvesting the large artichoke, smaller "baby" chokes may form lower down on the stem. These too can be harvested, peeling off the tough outer leaves until just the tender inner leaves remain. Saute or roast for a delicious side dish.
The artichoke plant tends to get scraggly by late summer and may die back completely in a hard freeze, but new leaves emerge quickly, often forming new plants that will produce artichokes next season.