The artichoke was first regarded in France mainly as a remedy for various ailments. They are grown today in the west (Brittany), the south east and around Paris. It is a perennial vegetable whose immature edible flower head is formed of a fleshy heart (base), surrounded by scaly leaves. After the inedible hairy central core (choke) has been removed, the base is eaten. The bases of the leaves are also edible. The various varieties include:Camus of Brittany: round, large and large base (heart).Green artichokes: They originate at Laon and have more pointed scales.Violet artichokes: They originate at Provence. They can be eaten raw when small.