Apoptotic and cytotoxic activity of plant extracts obtaining from naturally growing Cynara syriaca in Turkey and cultivated C cardunculus against DLD1 colorectal cancer cells was determined. Extracts from wild and cultivated Cynara species were obtained from their vegetative parts and receptacles using hexane and applied with five different dose (0.1-1 mg/ml) as well as apigenin for MTT tests for three time periods (24, 48 and 72 hours). After cells were treated with IC50 doses for each extract total DNA and RNA were isolated for determination of the cause of cell death. From isolated RNAs, cDNA were synthesized and amplification of p21, BCL-2 and BAX gene regions was carried out. Consequently, we found that pro-apoptotic (BAX) gene expression and a cell cycle inhibitor (p21) were induced in the presence of our artichoke extracts. In contrast, anti-apoptotic BCL-2 gene expression was reduced compared to the control group. In addition DNA fragmentation results demonstrated DLD1 cell death via apoptosis.