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The Plant Guide

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Small globe thistle

Echinops ritro

EH-ki-nops RIT-tro

This compact species has cobweb-like, woolly foliage. The unique spherical flowerheads appear steely blue before maturing to a brighter blue. The late summer flowers add charm of form and texture to a mixed border.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsThe plants do well in a wide range of garden sites, from a wild garden to a cottage garden.  The flowers are suitable for fresh cutting or drying.

CarePrefers poor, well-drained soil in full sun, but will tolerate a range of soils and partial shade. Deadhead to prevent self-sowing.

PropagationSow seed in mid-spring; divide in fall or spring.


  • Genus : Echinops
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Moisture : Adaptable
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Bloom Time : Late Summer, Summer
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Characteristics : Self Seeds
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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