Echinops bannaticus 'Blue Glow'
Common Name: blue globe thistle 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Steel blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Other: Thorns
Tolerate: Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils, including poor dryish ones, as long as they are well-drained. Avoid rich soils. Cut back flowering stems after bloom to encourage an additional fall bloom. This is a taprooted plant that is difficult to divide or transplant.

‘Blue Glow’ may be grown from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Echinops bannaticus is an erect, clump-forming perennial globe thistle that typically grows to 4’ (less frequently to 6’) tall on stiff, sometimes branching stems. It is native to southeastern Europe. Spiny, deeply-dissected leaves (to 14” long) are rough green above and downy-white below. Globular, thistle-like, gray-blue flower heads (to 2” 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 means from Banat which is a region of southwestern Romania where species plants are native.

‘Blue Glow’ improves on the species by producing intense steel blue flowerheads.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Aphids may occur. Taller stems may need staking, particularly if grown in rich, fertile soils.

Garden Uses

Sunny borders, cottage gardens. Excellent accent. Cutting garden.