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Herbaceous Perennial

Echinops exaltatus
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

tall globe thistle

A clump-forming, upright perennial, reaching up to 2m. It has pale, silvery-blue spherical flower heads up to 7cm across on tall, branched stems held above the thistle-like green foliage throughout summer and autumn

Synonyms
Echinops commutatus
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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained, Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Grey Silver Blue Green
Autumn Grey Silver Blue Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
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

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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 or by root cuttings in winter

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

Deadhead to prevent self-seeding

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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