Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Globe Thistle September 13, 2008

Another one on my must-buy list for the parking strip garden is globe thistle, or echinops. I like how the botanical name sounds like a kind of dinosaur, or maybe a Greek philosopher. And the leaves are so lovely and dark green and pointy, with those cute, totally spherical, purple spiky flowers that look like exploding fireworks. It grows in poor soil and full sun (although it can supposedly take better soil and part shade), and the flower heads are still interesting even after their color fades.

Here’s one I saw in a neighbor’s street garden. It was planted in a raised bed, maybe to help with drainage. I’m going to guess it’s echinops ritro, or small globe thistle, but I could be wrong there.

Globe thistle

Supposed to make great cut/dried flowers, and to be a good one for the bees and butterflies too. Also good for xeriscaping as it doesn’t require much water once established.

Hm, if echinops was a dinosaur, would it be a meat-eater or a vegetarian?


3 Responses to “Globe Thistle”

  1. rstair Says:

    This was on my order list this year too. In fact I should be getting my perennials really soon for fall planting.

  2. Cynthia Says:

    I have always admired the flowers and seed heads on these too. They add such interest to the garden. I love how they look so spikey and tough so I would say he would be a vegetarian to protect himself from the meat eaters. 🙂

  3. greenwalks Says:

    rstair –

    I’ll be curious to hear how it grows for you. I wonder if the flowers are actually pretty sharp? Maybe a good one to plant where you don’t want people walking!?!


    Cynthia –

    Good call, just like a Stegosaurus or something. 🙂

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