The genus includes perennial species native chiefly
to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East.
They are rather coarse, erect-growing plants
with decorative, bristly pinnate foliage of prickly
lobes and teeth.
The flower-heads are round, prickly and thistle-like
Echinops ritro has heads of steely-blue flowers on
Echinops bannaticus (syn. Echinops ruthenicus) has greyish-blue
heads on two-to three-feet stem; Echinops nivalis is
of the same height as Echinops ritro and has white heads;
Echinops giganteus and Echinops spaerocephalus have large
heads of white and reach as high as four to five
Among the most cherished of herbaceous perennials
these plants provide soft colours that are valuable
for toning down the more garish flowers.
They are splendid in association with pink Hollyhocks
and Gypsophila paniculata,
As cut flowers they lend themselves to many effective
They are easily grown in any good, well-drained
soil in full soil or partial shade.
Propagation is by means of root cuttings.
The flowering season extends from July to September.
See Also : Echinops