1. The Cynara scolymus, a plant somewhat resembling a thistle, with a dilated, imbricated, and prickly involucre. The head (to which the name is also applied) is composed of numerous oval scales, inclosing the florets, sitting on a broad receptacle, which, with the fleshy base of the scales, is much esteemed as an article of food.
2. See jerusalem artichoke.
Origin: It. Articioco, perh. Corrupted fr. The same word as carciofo; cf. Older spellings archiciocco, archicioffo, carciocco, and sp. Alcachofa, pg. Alcachofra; prob. Fr. Ar. Al-harshaf, al-kharshf.