Globe Thistle – Echinops ritro
In the Children’s Adventure Garden, a mass of planting of globe-shaped, blue-purple flowers draws a crowd. In the heat of the day, nearly every flower head is occupied by at least one bee, if not three or four. Human visitors are also lured in, not only to observe the swarm of pollinators but also to admire such a unique bloom. The view is other-worldly.
The plant is commonly known as globe thistle. It is a cultivar called ‘Platinum Blue’ of the species Echinops ritro subsp. ruthenicus, which is in the aster family. Echinops ritro originates from southern Europe and western Asia. It has broad, lobed, prickly, shiny-green leaves. Its sturdy, white, flower stalks are topped with spherical flower heads and reach at least three feet tall. It requires little water and is adaptable to a variety of soil types. When these plants are in bloom, they are a must-see.
For more information, visit this Royal Horticultural Society page.
Written by IBG horticulturist, Daniel Murphy.