How to grow Echinops
From the Greek echinos, a hedgehog, opsis, like, referring to the spiky appearance of the flower heads which resemble a rolled-up hedgehog (Compositae).
Common Name: Globe thistle. Hardy herbaceous perennial and biennial plants for the border.
Species cultivated (All perennial) E. bannaticus, 2-3 feet, violet-blue globular heads of flowers, summer, Hungary. E. humilis, 3-5 feet, large blue heads, September, Asia; var. nivalis, white. The cultivar l’aplow Blue’ has bright blue heads in summer. E. ritro, 3-4 feet, steel-blue, summer, southern Europe. E. sphaerocephalus, 6 feet, flowers silvery-grey, summer, Europe and western Asia.
Cultivation Plant in autumn or spring in ordinary soil, in sun or partial shade. Echinops are trouble-free plants for a large border or for a wild garden. The metallic luster of the flower heads keeps them decorative for a long time when dried. The species E. ritro is probably the best for this purpose. Propagation is by root cuttings or division in October or March, or by seed sown in the open in a sunny position in April.
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