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Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue', Globe Thistle,  Zone 3-9

Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ is a clump-forming, 3-3.5 foot tall plant with golf ball sized blue flower heads atop stiff, rigid stems clad with deeply lobed, dark green, thistle-like foliage. It features darker blue flowers and more abundant flowering than the species. Globular, thistle-like, deep steel blue flower heads (1-2” diameter) bloom at the stem tops in summer. Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soils, including poor, infertile, dry ones, as long as well-drained. Avoid rich soils. This is a tap rooted plant that is difficult to divide or transplant.

Sun Exposure:  full sun (can tolerate some afternoon shade).

Soil type: tolerates poor soils, if soils are rich the plants will grow lush and tall but will need staking

Soil PH: all

Soil Moisture: dry to medium well drained (drought tolerant once established but water regularly in their first year)

Care level: easy (deadhead to prevent reseeding) (wear gloves because the leaves and seed heads are spiny)

Flower color: blue

Bloom time: July to September

Foliage Color:greyish green with white undersides and spiny tips (the bottom leaves will dry and fall off in the summer so plant some one to two foot companions in front of them)

Uses and Characteristics:  Accent or specimen, massed, Border, container,  grassland, cut flower, dried flower, long blooming, drought tolerant, attracts bees and butterflies, rabbit resistant, thorns.

Flower head size: large

Height: 3 to 3.5 feet  Width: 1.5 to 2 feet

Growth Rate: medium

Propagation:  Do not divide well.  May self seed.  Root cuttings taken in fall or early spring.