artichoke

/ahr"ti chohk'/, n.
1. a tall, thistlelike composite plant, Cynara scolymus, native to the Mediterranean region, of which the numerous scalelike bracts and receptacle of the immature flower head are eaten as a vegetable.
2. the large, rounded, closed flower head itself.
3. See Jerusalem artichoke. Also called globe artichoke (for defs. 1, 2).
[1525-35; < Upper It articiocco, var. (by dissimilation) of arciciocco, arcicioffo < *arcarcioffo < OSp alcarchofa < dial. Ar al-kharshuf the artichoke]

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Large, coarse, herbaceous, thistlelike perennial plant (Cynara scolymus) of the composite family.

The thick edible scales and bottom part (heart) of the immature flower heads are a culinary delicacy. The artichoke is native to the Mediterranean and is cultivated extensively in other regions with rich soil and a mild, humid climate. The Jerusalem artichoke is a tuber and does not resemble the artichoke.

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plant
also called  French, or Globe, Artichoke,  
 large, coarse, herbaceous, thistlelike perennial plant (Cynara scolymus) of the Asteraceae family. The thick edible scales and bottom parts of the immature flower heads are a culinary delicacy. The bottom part of the immature flower head is called a heart.

      The aboveground parts of the plant die each year after flowers are formed; new shoots arise the next season to produce rosettes of deeply cut, woolly leaves up to 1 m (3.3 feet) long; later, sturdy, branched flower stalks rise; their flowers are purplish. After four to eight years the cluster of rosettes from a crown becomes crowded, and the size and quality of the heads become reduced. The plant is then renewed by planting divisions of the crown or rooted offshoots. The mature flower heads produce seeds, but the seedlings do not necessarily resemble the variety of the parent plant.

      The artichoke is native to the western and central Mediterranean, whence it was carried to the eastern Mediterranean in ancient times. At that time the young leaves rather than the immature flower heads were eaten; the edible-flower form was first recorded in Italy about 1400. Today it is extensively cultivated in California, France, Belgium, the Mediterranean countries, and other regions with the necessary rich soil and mild, humid climate.

      The artichoke's flavour is delicate and nutlike, and the smaller heads, or buds, are usually the most tender. Artichoke heads are served as a hot vegetable with a sauce or as a cold salad or appetizer.

      The Jerusalem artichoke (q.v.) is a tuber and does not resemble the artichoke.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Artichoke — Ar ti*choke, n. [It. articiocco, perh. corrupted fr. the same word as carciofo; cf. older spellings archiciocco, archicioffo, carciocco, and Sp. alcachofa, Pg. alcachofra; prob. fr. Ar. al harshaf, al kharsh[=u]f.] (Bot.) 1. The {Cynara scolymus} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • artichoke — (n.) 1530s, from articiocco, Northern Italian variant of It. arcicioffo, from O.Sp. alcarchofa, from Arabic al hursufa artichoke. The Northern Italian variation probably is from influence of ciocco stump. Folk etymology has twisted the word in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • artichoke — ► NOUN (also globe artichoke) ▪ the unopened flower head of a thistle like plant, eaten as a vegetable. ORIGIN Italian articiocco, from Arabic …   English terms dictionary

  • artichoke — [ärt′ə chōk΄] n. [It dial. articiocco < OSp alcarchofa < Ar al ḥarshaf (var. kharshūf)] 1. a) a thistlelike plant (Cynara scolymus) of the composite family b) its flower head, cooked as a vegetable 2. short for JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE …   English World dictionary

  • Artichoke — This article is about the globe artichoke. For other uses, see Artichoke (disambiguation). Artichoke Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae …   Wikipedia

  • artichoke — [16] The word artichoke is of Arabic origin; it comes from al kharshōf ‘the artichoke’, which was the Arabic term for a plant of the thistle family with edible flower parts. This was borrowed into Spanish as alcarchofa, and passed from there into …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • artichoke — [16] The word artichoke is of Arabic origin; it comes from al kharshōf ‘the artichoke’, which was the Arabic term for a plant of the thistle family with edible flower parts. This was borrowed into Spanish as alcarchofa, and passed from there into …   Word origins

  • artichoke — noun An edible plant related to the thistle. Syn: globe artichoke See Also: artichoke heart, Jerusalem artichoke …   Wiktionary

  • artichoke — ar|ti|choke [ˈa:tıtʃəuk US ˈa:rtıtʃouk] n [Date: 1500 1600; : Italian dialect; Origin: articiocco, from Arabic al khurshuf the artichoke ] 1.) also globe artichoke a type of round green vegetable, which has ↑buds with leaves that you eat, which… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • artichoke — [ α:tɪtʃəʊk] noun 1》 a plant with large, thistle like flower heads. [Cynara scolymus.] 2》 (also globe artichoke) the unopened flower head of the artichoke, of which the heart and the fleshy bases of the bracts are edible. 3》 see Jerusalem… …   English new terms dictionary

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