My favorite vegetable, my second favorite "flower" (the King Protea will always reign supreme). Many local florists are selling these gargantuan artichokes these days. They don't come cheap -- around $25 to $40 a pop, but they do make an impression...for weeks and week and weeks. And it's an impression with an evolution. The hearts literally come alive. I guess they find artichokes delicious, too, as they seem to cannibalize the rest of the plant in order to feed their uncontrollable, brilliant purple growth. I took this one out of its water last Sunday to let it dry - most of that lush lavender lawn spawned in the days since.