Globe artichoke and leafy cardoon are two crops belonging to the same species, Cynara cardunculus (Asteraceae). Gatto et al. analyse population structure and genetic relationships between var. scolymus (artichoke), var. altilis (leafy cardoon) and their wild progenitor, var. sylvestris, and suggest that two distinct domestication events took place. Artichoke probably originated in Sicily, and they find evidence in its history for a demographic bottleneck. The results suggest a possible new scenario for western wild cardoon having derived from leafy cardoon that escaped from cultivation.