The French people are particularly fond of a vegetable which is the flower head of a robust plant belonging to the same family as the daisy and sun flower. All such plants bear numerous small flowers, on a flat, circular disk, surrounded and protected by green scales, called bracts, that over lap, in rows, concealing the flowers until opening time.
The edible parts of the globe artichoke are the tender bases of the bracts, and the succulent disk itself, after the flowers are removed. This is done after the heads are boiled tender. The bracts are easily removed as eaten. We dip the tender white end into melted butter, and finally eating the white "bottom" with the same season ing.
Dressed with oil and vinegar, the tender por tions of boiled artichokes make a delicious salad. Many more ways of cooking and serving this high-quality vegetable will be hunted up by all who like it.
The artichokes grown so extensively for market and for home use in France can be grown here but we have not got at it yet. The plant is very
lusty, even as it grows wild in Barbary and southern Europe. In the garden it grows easily to a height of three or four feet, and its hand some cut leaves are a yard or more in length. It deserves to be raised, if only as an ornamental plant.
The numerous varieties of artichoke grown in the gardens of rich and poor in France are all reg ularly propagated by suckers rather than by seeds. These new shoots start from the main stem just underground. They are cut off, each with a bit of the old stem as a "heel." One or more suckers are left to make a new top on the old plant, which outlives its usefulness in three years.
Though it would go on bearing, the size and quality of the heads decline. Each sucker set out soon grows into a vigorous new plant with two or three years of abundant productivity before it, if the gardener does his duty.