The spiky leaves and bristly metallic blue flowers of globe thistles, Echinops ritro, make them a great architectural choice for the back of a sunny border. The spiny, cobwebbed leaves provide interest from spring until the blooms appear in late summer. Echinops ritro associates well with other tall striking late summer plants such as cardoon and echinacea or tall miscanthus grasses in an island bed.
Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue' is a particularly attractive globe thistle, bearing tight globes of deep blue flowers. It's extremely attractive to bees, butterflies and other insects, and makes an excellent cut flower. For best results grow Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue' in free-draining soil in full sun to partial shade. Cut plants down after flowering to encourage a second flush of blooms. If clumps become congested, lift and divide them in autumn or spring.
Cultivar: Veitch's Blue
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Flower colour: Blue
Foliage colour: Dark green
Feature: Flowers, Dramatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Moist, Sandy
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: October to November
Flowering period: July to August
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