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Herbaceous Perennial

Echinops ritro L.
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

small globe thistle

E. ritro is a robust, upright herbaceous perennial, with jaggedy-divided, prickly dark green leaves whitish beneath. Rounded, violet-blue flower heads on silvery, branched, leafy stems

Other common names
blue hedgehog
globe flower
see moresteel globe thistle
Synonyms
Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue' misapplied

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Blue Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Asteraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Echinops can be annuals, biennials or perennials with simple or pinnately lobed, spiny leaves and spherical blue or whitish flower-heads

Name status

Correct

Plant range
C&E Europe to C Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Best in poor, well-drained soil in full sun but will tolerate most soils in full sun and can tolerate partial shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in seed bed in mid spring. Propagate by division in spring or autumn. Propagate by root cuttings in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Gravel garden
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Deadhead to prevent self-seeding

Pests

Prone to aphids

Diseases

Generally disease free

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