Common Name: small globe thistle
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 3.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Tolerate: Rabbit, Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils, including poor, infertile, dry ones, as long as well-drained. Avoid rich soils. This is a taprooted plant that is difficult to divide or transplant.
Echinops ritro is a clump-forming, 4-foot tall plant with golf ball sized blue flower heads atop stiff, rigid stems clad with deeply lobed, dark green, thistle-like foliage. ‘Veitch’s Blue’ grows slightly smaller (3-3.5’ tall) and features darker blue flowers and more abundant flowering than the species. Globular, thistle-like, deep steel blue flower heads (1-2” diameter) bloom at the stem tops in summer. Coarse, spiny, deeply-dissected, gray-green leaves are white tomentose beneath. Basal leaves grow to 6-8” long, but stem leaves grow shorter.
No serious insect or disease problems. Taller stems may need staking, particularly if grown in rich, fertile soils.
Sunny borders, cottage gardens, cutting gardens.