2. A thistle-like plant with large prickly leaves and its immature flowering head, which can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
3. Etymology: from articiocco, Northern Italian variant of Italian arcicioffo, from Old Spanish alcarchofa, which came from Arabic al-hursufa, "artichoke".
The Northern Italian variation probably is from the influence of ciocco, "stump".
Folk etymology has twisted the word in English; the ending is probably influenced by choke, and early forms of the word in English include archecokk, hortichock, artychough, and hartichoake.
The plant was known in Italy by the 1450's, brought to Florence from Naples in 1466, and introduced into England during the reign of Henry VIII.