small globe thistle, blue globe thistle, steel globe thistle, globe flower, blue hedgehog
Eurasian, herbaceous perennial in the Asteraceae family. Grey-green, deeply cut, evergreen foliage. Spherical, steel-blue flower heads, 5 cm across, on long, silvery stems in late summer and autumn. Attracts bees and butterflies. Birds like the seeds.
Prefers a sheltered position in full sun and poor, well-draining soil. Tolerates partial shade and dry conditions. Suitable for coastal gardens. Stems are quite strong, but staking may be required in windy locations. Cut back to near ground level after flowering. Leave the flowering stems on the plant if you wish to encourage self-seeding. Cutting spent flowering stems back early in the season helps the plant to produce a second flush of flowers. Divide the plant after 3-4 years. Echinops ritro is generally trouble-free and easy to grow.
Attractive contrasting plant with globe-shaped flowers in stunning metallic blue, set off beautifully against the silvery stems and greyish foliage. Combines well with tall grasses that flower at about the same time, such as Miscanthus sinensis cultivars. Excellent for dried and fresh cut flower arrangements.
Type of plantHerbaceous - Perennial
Size1.2 m tall, 0.5 m wide
Landscape Useflower display, cut flowers, dried flowers, dry or coastal areas
- Temperature: Hardy
- Light: Medium High
- Moisture: Low Medium
- Soil: Light Medium Heavy
- Wind tolerance: Low Average
- Coastal tolerance: High