18/03/2016 7:46 AM AEDT

Artichokes Are Actually Flowers, And Here's Proof

Straight out of a Tim Burton movie.

Have you ever sent someone a bouquet of artichokes?

It's worth considering, but it might be a little strange, seeing as how artichokes look like THIS WHEN THEY'RE BLOOMING:

Well, they don't bloom that fast because that's a time-lapse video. It's still terrifying, though.

Artichokes, which are also called globe or French artichokes, are a large perennial plant native to the western and central Mediterranean region, and cousins to chrysanthemums, dahlias and sunflowers (Jerusalem artichokes, which are tubers, aren't really artichokes at all).

The long leaves of the artichoke plant were used in the medieval era, likely for medicinal purposes as they are sources of antioxidants; the Italians started using the artichoke head and heart in dishes as early as 1400.

To grab the part of the artichoke you'd want to eat, you'd pick the bulb before it blooms, then take it home and either bake, boil or steam it -- see images of flowering artichokes, as well as our favorite recipes to use them, below.


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Photo galleryArtichoke Recipes List See Gallery