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The Artichoke is a variety of thistle that is cultivated as a gourmet food. Before they bloom artichokes produce an edible flowerhead with hearty textured buds and a delicious "heart". Artichokes thrive in full sun in loamy , well drained soils, and will suffer is soggy or clay soils. Artichokes are perennials in zones 7-11, but here in Wyoming, they can be grown as annuals. Artichokes enjoy a lot of water. Recommendations include a deep watering about three times a week depending on the weather. This ensures your artichoke is getting the water it needs, but not sitting in constantly soggy soils, as they are susceptible to rot. Make sure to harvest your artichoke buds before they flower, as they become virtually inedible. Artichokes are tender to the cold, wait to plant until after risk of frost as passed.