Echinops tauricus Willd. ex Ledeb.
Echinops tenuifolius Fisch. ex Schkuhr
Echinops meyeri (DC.) Iljin
Echinops ruthenicus M.Bieb.
Echinops virgatus Lam.
Echinops sartorianus Boiss. & Heldr.
Echinops siculus Strobl
Echinops thracicus Velen.
Common Name: Globe Thistle
Echinops ritro is an erect, spiny, herbaceous, perennial plant producing one to a few, usually unbranched stems; it can grow 20 - 120cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens.
Eurasia - France and Spain, eastwards through Russia and Turkey to western Siberia, Mongolia, western China and Turkmenistan
Gravely places on mountain slopes; at elevations from 200 - 2,400 metres[
]. Predominantly found in steppe zone (less often forest-steppe zone), steppe meadows on rubbly slopes and outcrops, and on chalk[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Succeeds in a sunny position in any well drained soil of low or medium fertility[
]. Most species in this genus thrive in hot, dry soils[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
There are a number of named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[
The flowers are often used for dried flower displays[
]. If all the flowers are removed early in the season, the plant will often produce a second flush of bloom later in the summer[
The root is anti-inflammatory and galactogogue[
]. It is used in the treatment of breast abscesses with inflammation, mastitis, lack of milk in nursing mothers and distension of the breast[
The plant contains polyphenols It is an effective antioxidant, working best when extracted in water or methanol[
Seed - sow early spring in a cold frame[
]. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 9 weeks at 25°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seedbed in mid spring and is then planted out into its permanent position in late summer or the autumn[
Division in autumn[
Root cuttings in the winter[