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Echinops ritro
Echinops ritro

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Zones A2, A3, 1-24, 31-45
Full Sun
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Echinops ritro

Globe Thistle
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Perennials, Flowers

From Asia. Well-behaved, decorative thistle relative for the perennial border. Rugged-looking, erect, rigidly branched plant 2 to 4 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide, with coarse, prickly, deeply cut gray-green leaves to 1 ft. long. Distinctive flower heads are spherical, about the size of golf balls; they look like pincushions stuck full of tubular metallic blue pins. Bloom midsummer to late fall.

Plants may be offered as E. exaltatus, E. humilis, E. ritro, or possibly E. sphaerocephalus. Whatever name you encounter, you're likely to get a plant closely resembling the general description above.

'Taplow Blue' has bright blue blossoms on 3- to 4-ft. stems.

'Veitch's Blue' has darker blue flowers on a plant 2 1/2 to 3 ft. high. Grow from divisions in spring or fall, or sow seed in flats or open ground in spring.

Provide average, well-drained soil and moderate water. (With enriched soil and regular moisture, may grow too robustly and require staking.) Clump can be left in place, undivided, for many years. Flowers are excellent for dried arrangements; cut them before they open and dry them upside down.

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