Common name: Globe thistle
This is an ideal plant choice for large borders or a wild naturalised garden, providing it is well drained.
One must keep in mind that these plants, subject to variety and under ideal conditions, can grow to around 3 metres (10ft) high.
E. ritro, will grow to 2 metres (7ft),
E. Gmelinii, E. Sphaerocephalus to 900-1200mm (3-4ft)
E. Bannaticus to 600-900mm (2-3ft) high.
The round thistle-like, mid-blue flowers attract bees and butteflies and can appear several times during the season.
The flowers are ideal for cut flowers or drying for winter decoration.
Week 8-16: Sow seed in trays of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 18°-20°C (64°-68°F)
Germination should take about 2-3 weeks.
Prick out when large enough to handle into 70mm (3”) pots and grow on at 10°-16°C (50°-60°F) until planting out time.
Week 40: Plant out 600mm (24") apart in full sun and in any well-drained soil that has had liberal amounts of manure/compost dug in to it.
Plants can be divided between now and April.
Week 44: Take root cuttings by setting them in trays of a 50-50 mix of compost and sharp sand, and over-winter in a cold frame.