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Echinops ritro L. AGM

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© RHS 2000

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

Blue in Summer

Foliage

Dark Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

small globe thistle

Family

Asteraceae


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

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
  • steel globe thistle

Synonym(s)

  • Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue' misapplied

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, East-facing or West-facing
  • Exposed

Cultivation

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

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Loam or Chalk

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

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Cut Flowers, Wildlife Gardens, Gravel Garden or Low Maintenance


How to care

Pruning

Deadhead to prevent self-seeding

Pests

Prone to aphids

Diseases

Generally disease free