Dwarf carline thistle is a plant found in the mountains of southern and central Europe. The head of it can be picked when immature and used in the same way as a globe artichoke. The young flowers were often picked and boiled. It earned the name "hunters bread". This species type has a stemless flower that grows from a central crown. The thick deep tap roots develop into a small version of a parsnip like root. Dwarf carline thistle is an easy plant to grow and is good for a rock garden. Few have grown it long enough to test the yield aspect of it or how it grows under cultivation.
Perennial in nature, this thistle offers an opportunity to start a colony of perennial globe artichokes to some extent. This plant does not like regular irrigation or organic matter. Prefers a more alkaline soil and full hot sun. It is fully hardy into zone 5 or more.
|Genus & Species||Carlina acaulis subsp. simplex|
|Hardiness||-20 F or more. Root hardy.|
|Height (ft)||5-6 inches|
|Width (ft)||6-12 inches|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile.|
|Soil||Best in dry soil types-'chalky' which means alkaline or slightly acidic. Low moisture like cactus.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Super easy to establish. Keep in mind that it needs wide open hot sun field like conditions. Adaptible to dry hot conditions and does produce an edible head. Used traditionally as an edible wild plant and could be now cultivated to find its potential. Might be propagated by root cuttings as this would speed up establishment of larger colonies creating a greater yield potential.|