Echinops bannaticus – Blue Globe Thistle
A very useful perennial for the sunny border, preferring well-drained soils, where it will produce a tall, broad, branching plant up to 150cm in height. The flower buds are attractive, perfect spheres, steadily opening to reveal blue flowers – creating a globe of colour. A massed effect as seen here in the Family Beds at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, can be very effective.
With steely foliage, it provides a strong contrast in the herbaceous border or gravel garden and can be quite an architectural statement. As the flowers open, the plant becomes a veritable bee magnet!