Chances are any artichokes you eat from the United States come from California, but researchers are testing new varieties in Hastings that tolerate North Florida climate.
The cool nights in California are suited to growing artichokes as an annual or perennial crop and constitute 99% of the artichoke market.
Researchers at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Hastings Agricultural Center are testing artichoke varieties adapted for growing in Northeast Florida’s cool season.
The varieties would need to be planted in October through November and take about four to six months from planting to harvest.
Currently, the Hastings Agricultural Center is trialing three different artichoke varieties that grow about 3 to 4 feet in height and width: Colorado Red Star, Green Globe Improved and Imperial Star.
“Green Globe Improved” is an open-pollinated cultivar. It is an improvement of the traditional “Green Globe” and has more uniform growth and higher yield. It produces green, large (> 0.9 lb), round buds.
“Imperial Star" is an open-pollinated cultivar. Compared with “Green Globe Improved,” or hybrid cultivars, this cultivar has a lower germination rate and more variable seedling quality. It produces green, large, round buds.