Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Globe Thistle

Echinops
A genus of erect, perennial plants bearing prickly, globular, metallic blue flower heads during the summer. The foliage is deeply lobed or divided and is typically deep green above and silvery-white below.
Generally hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun on just about any well drained soil. Very tolerant of poor soil and drought, however wet soil kills. Many species thrive with seashore conditions. They may also grow lanky and need to be staked if the soil is too fertile. Cutting them back to basal foliage clump immediately after blooming may encourage a second flush of blooms. Pests and disease problems are rare though aphids may occasionally occur.
Can be propagated by seed, root cuttings or division every 3 to 4 years during autumn or spring.

* photo taken on July 11 2014 in Washington, DC


Echinops bannaticus
A large, clumping perennial native to eastern Europe ( Czech Republic to Greece ) that can reach up to 7 x 4.3 ( rarely over 4.5 ) feet.
The angular-lobed, ovate leaves can reach up to 14 inches in length. The foliage is gray-green.
The finely hairy foliage is deep green above, white beneath.
The profuse, steel-blue globular flowers can be up to 2 inches in width. The flowers are borne during late summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade.

Echinops exaltatus ( Russian Globe Thistle )
A clumping perennial, reaching up to 7 x 5 feet, that is a widespread native from eastern Europe to western Russia.
The sparsely spined leaves are downy beneath. The deep green leaves are borne on white woolly stems.
The white flower heads, up to 2.3 inches wide, are borne mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in full sun.

Echinops giganteus
"Echinops on Steroids" reaching a maximum size of 15 x 3 feet, with leaves, up to 18 inches in length.

Echinops maracandicus
A perennial, reaching up to 7 x 3.5 feet, that is native to mountains in Turkestan.
The large, silvery-blue flower heads, up to 2.5 inches across, are borne on branched stems during mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun.

Echinops ritro
An exotic looking perennial reaching up to 5 x 3 feet that is a widespread native to temperate Eurasia to as far east as Siberia and central Asia.
The narrow, deeply lobed, triangular leaves are up to 9 or rarely 15 inches in length. The foliage is glossy deep above and downy white below.
The steel blue globular flowers, up to 2 inches across, are borne all summer long.
The stems are woolly.
Hardy zones 3 to 8.

* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Aug 2 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photo taken on Aug 2 2013 in Goderich, Ontario

* historic archive photo


'Blue Globe'
Reaching up to 7 x 3 feet with many deep blue globes, up to 2.5 inches across, on branched stems all summer long.
Hardy north to zone 2

* photo taken on July 14 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 17 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario


'Taplow Blue'
A summer bloomer with bright blue globes up to 3 inches on stems up to 6 feet in height. Has few spines.

'Veitch's Blue'
Reaches up to 4 x 3 feet with sturdier stems and more glaucous leaves up to 14 inches in length. It flowers much more abundantly than 'Taplow Blue'

Echinops ruthenicus
Reaching up to 50 inches x 3 feet, it is similar to Echinops ritro and is sometimes considered to be a subspecies of it. The leaves are armed with small spines and are woolly white beneath.
The flowerheads are steel blue.

Echinops sphaerocephalus ( Great Globe Thistle )
A large perennial native from central Europe to western Russia, that can reach up to 8 x 4 ( rarely over 6 ) feet.
The deeply-lobed leaves, up to 14 inches in length, are armed with small spines.
The foliage is downy above, white hairy beneath.
The flowerheads, up to 2.5 inches across, are white to very pale gray. They are borne during summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun.

'Arctic Glow'
A unique form with mahogany red stems and large white ball shaped flowers that contrasts with silvery-green foliage. Reaches up to 6 x 3 feet.

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