The artichoke or globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) is a herbaceous plant from North Africa which since ancient times has been grown as food in places with a temperate climate.
In spite of the fact that it was known by both the Greeks and Romans, research suggests that it was first cultivated in Al-Andalus by the Arabs. Since then it has been a regular part of the landscape in the vegetable gardens in the Alhambra and Generalife. Here artichokes normally grow to about 1.5 metres tall and freeze during the winter, before sprouting from the stalk again in the spring.
In August, its spectacular flowering can be enjoyed in the bottom terraces in the Partal Palace, which were vegetable gardens in the Nasrid era. This area was excavated and recovered in the first half of the 20th century and reinterpreted as a vegetable-cum-flower garden.