The globe thistle is a strong upright perennial that is topped with globe shaped flowers from May-July; or until September if sheared to prevent seed production. The heavily serrated blue-green leaves have white undersides and provide the garden with unique texture in early spring and late fall. Echinops ritro is one of the most cold hardy perennials you can buy. Great for the perennial border and makes a nice back drop for lighter colored perennials.
This beauty is a long distance cousin to thistle plants but is not invasive and rarely reseeds in our garden. Commonly referred to as thistle because of the pointed spines it produces on the leaves. How it differs from weed types thistle is the seeds are too large to be carried on the breeze and the plants' root system is clump forming; as opposed to many perennial weed thistles that produce seed small seed with hairy tufts that are able to float for miles and also grow by underground rhizomes to choke everything out. Our eight year old clumps of Echinops ritro have not moved from their original planting spot and take up no more than two square feet when in full leaf cover.
Mature Plant Size: 3' Tall, 16" Spread
Bloom Time: May-August
Light Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Type/pH: Well-drained/6.0-7.5
Hardiness Zones: 2-9
Container Size: 2.5" square x 5.5" deep