Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 577-580

First online:

Wild artichokes of south Italy: did the story begin here?

  • Domenico PignoneAffiliated withCNR Institute of Plant Genetics Email author 
  • , Gabriella SonnanteAffiliated withCNR Institute of Plant Genetics

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


A collection of wild artichokes (Cynara cardunculus L. var. sylvestris (Lam.) Fiori) was conducted in south Italy. The distribution of the wild populations was not even all over the explored territory, from the coastline to the inner mountains, and in some areas wild artichokes were completely absent. A certain level of morphological variation for height and habit of plants, size and shape of capitula, length, shape, and position of bracteal spines, was observed. It has been noticed that picking capitula from the wild for human consumption is a common habit in southern Italy and Sicily. Historical data and etnobotanic inference suggest the idea that the artichoke could have been domesticated in south Italy, and Sicily in particular, and was spread by the Arabs to other regions of the Mediterranean Basin.

Cynara cardunculus Domestication Variation Wild germ plasm collection