Echinops ritro (globe thistle)
Plant of the month: August
Echinops ritro plants will grow in any reasonable garden soil and produce their best displays in full sun. As a tall, erect perennial the globe thistle makes a great architectural plant for the back of a summer border. The deeply divided, narrow, grey-green leaves provide interest from spring until the blooms appear in late summer. These are globular in shape and of an intense, deep, metallic blue. The combination of these features makes Echinops ritro a really striking plant! It associates well with other tall late summer plants such as cardoon, Echinacea or tall Miscanthus grasses. In addition it is attractive to many insects including bees, moths and butterflies and the seeds provide food for finches and other seed-eating birds. A plant no wildlife garden should be without!