Echinops gmelinii

Common Name: globe thistle 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Central Asia, Mongolia, China
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Tolerate: Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates wide range of soils, including poor dryish ones, as long as well-drained. Avoid rich soils. This is a taprooted plant that is difficult to divide or transplant. May self-seed in the garden if not deadheaded.

Noteworthy Characteristics

This species of globe thistle is an erect, clump-forming perennial which typically grows to only 2' tall on stiff stems. Spiny-margined, oblong leaves are rough green above and downy white below. Globular, thistle-like, white flower heads (to 1" diameter) bloom at the stem tops in summer.

Genus name comes from the Greek words echinos meaning a hedgehog and ops meaning appearance in reference to the flower heads.

Specific epithet honors German traveller and naturalist Johann Gottlieb Gmelin (1709-1755).


No serious insect or disease problems.


Sunny borders, cottage gardens.