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Imperial Star Artichoke Seeds

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Cynara scolymus

Imperial Star Artichoke Seeds (90 days from transplant)


Seed Packet contains about 20 seeds or 1 gram.

Mother Earth News says about Imperial Star artichoke seeds...

"Huge Yields of Thornless, Sweet Chokes!
This gourmet, perennial vegetable did not tolerate temperatures below 20 degrees, grew best in foggy areas with cool days and nights, and demanded a long growing season.

But these rigid requirements changed when a new variety, `Imperial Star,' became available in the late 1990's. An annual artichoke that is started from seed in early spring, it produces edible buds about 90 days after transplants are set out, much like tomatoes and peppers. Now anyone, anywhere, can have an artichoke patch for fresh eating or even canning.

Mostly green with a tinge of purple, these artichokes don't have any thorns to bother you when you're dipping them!  Also this variety can be grown as an annual in warmer climates than most artichokes.

Buttery, with a nutty flavor, artichoke hearts have long been regarded as elegant additions to salads, as topping for sauteed fish and as toothsome appetizers when dressed with vinegar, olive oil and herbs. The whole artichoke bud is best steamed and served with a dipping sauce of garlic-flavored, melted butter or mayonnaise. To eat it, grasp the pointed end of each petal of the bud and pull it off. Then dip the petal bottom in the sauce and rake it over your teeth to dislodge the meaty pulp at the base."

Recommended by the Following State Universities or Ag Extension Offices as a variety that performs well for their region .  OR

Seed Planting Depth

Seeds per gram

Germination Temperature

Days to Germination

Row Spacing

Plant Spacing

100' Row Yield


1/2" 20-25 65 7-21 48-60" 30-36" 260 lb. Full

Planting Tips:

For strongest plants, start as transplants in early spring so the seedlings get a few weeks of cool weather in the ground.  Grown as an annual in extremely cold climates, and a perennial in moderate climates.  Heavy feeders, make sure to enrich soil with compost.  Keep well watered for good yields.

Heirloom seeds are hardy but always take care with your garden seeds to give them the appropriate amount of moisture - don't let the vegetable seeds dry out prematurely, and don't overwater and possibly have them rot.


Preparing an Artichoke for Steaming

To wash an artichoke, fill a bowl with water, and dunk artichoke in upside down to relaease all the particles stuck between the leaves.

Slice off the stem at the base.

Cut across the top of the artichoke, removing about 1/3 of the top.

Finally cut off the pointy tips of the outer leaves.


Steamed Artichokes

Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water.  Place a steaming basket into the water so that it rests just above the water in the pot. Arrange the artichoke stem end up in the steamer. Cover the pot, and cook at a simmer for about 40 minutes or until a knife can easily pierce the bottoms and an outside leaf is easily removed. Be sure there is still water in the bottom of the pot, adding more if needed.  Remove artichokes with tongs and drain on paper towels stem side up.

These can be served immediately or at room temperature.

Artichoke Dipping Sauces

Simple Lemon and Butter

Melt 3/4 cup butter over medium low heat.  Once butter is melted, add the juice of 1 lemon, and stir to combine.


Dill and Lemon Mayonnaise

Combine 3 tbsp chopped, fresh dill with 2 cloves minced garlic, the juice of 1 meyer lemon with 1/2 cup mayonnaise.


Balsamic Mayonnaise

Combine 1/2 cup mayonaise, 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice and 2 cloves of garlic minced.


Preparing an Artichoke Heart

Artichokes can be a daunting vegetable to work with, but with this step by step guide, you will easily be able to use and prepare artichokes for pastas, salads and more.

Prepare a bowl of cold water and the juice of 1 lemon and set aside.

Pull back the outer leaves until they snap off at the base. Remove all leaves until you get to the tender inner leaves. These can be saved for steaming.

Slice off the stem leaving about 1 inch attached.

Cut across those tender yellow leaves just about where they join the base, exposing the heart.

With a small paring knife, remove any dark, woody parts around the base.

With a melon baller or a spoon, scoop out the bristly choke and leaves inside. 

Immediately put the finished product into the lemon water as this will stop the browning process.


Creamy Fettuccine with Artichokes


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 4 prepared artichoke hearts, drained and cut in wedges (see above)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 16 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 lb Fettuccine


Put a pot of water on to boil.  Heat butter and oil in  a skillet over a medium low heat, adding onion once butter has melted.  Cook until soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes.  Add artichokes. Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat. Cook over a low heat until artichokes are tender (20-30 minutes). Add a little water if artichokes are burning or sticking to the pan. Add broth, mascarpone and parsley.  Bring to a simmer and cook over a medium heat until sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, cook pasta. Once done, set aside 1 cup of the pasta water.  Return pasta to pan and add sauce, tossing to coat.  If the sauce is too thick or dry, add reserved pasta water until consistency is right.  If the sauce is too thin, turn the heat back on to medium and cook until it is absorbed by the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately and garnish with remaining parsley.

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