Globe thistle Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
globe thistle 'Veitch's Blue'


Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue', also commonly known as globe thistle, is a striking perennial plant known for its unique and attractive appearance. The plant features deeply lobed, spiny leaves with a silvery-green hue, giving it a somewhat tough and rugged texture. These leaves are arranged in a basal rosette fashion, emanating from the base of the plant and creating a dense, bushy foliage. The most distinguishable feature of the globe thistle, however, is its spherical flower heads. These flowers are a vibrant steel-blue color and are composed of tiny, tightly-packed florets that give the appearance of a perfect globe or ball. The flower heads are perched atop sturdy, branched stems, which rise above the foliage and lend an architectural quality to the plant's structure. The blooms of the globe thistle not only provide a visual spectacle in the garden but are also favored by pollinators such as bees and butterflies, adding movement and life to its surroundings. The overall aspect of the plant, with its spiky texture and globular blooms, brings a dramatic and ornamental element to any garden space where it is grown.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Globe Thistle, Blue Globe Thistle, Veitch's Blue Globe Thistle

    • Common names

      Echinops ruthenicus, Echinops exaltatus, Echinops sphaerocephalus.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Globe thistle is not commonly known to be toxic to humans. However, as with any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities could cause a reaction, and it is always advisable to avoid ingesting parts of ornamental plants due to potential unknown effects or irritants.

    • To pets

      Globe thistle is not commonly known to be toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. However, ingestion of any plant material may cause gastrointestinal irritation or upset in some pets. If a pet does ingest globe thistle and shows signs of distress, it is best to consult a veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet 9 inches (1.14 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts pollinators: The globe thistle is known to attract bees and butterflies, which are vital for pollination and maintaining healthy ecosystems.
    • Drought-tolerant: Once established, Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue', or globe thistle, is drought-resistant, making it ideal for xeriscaping or low-water gardens.
    • Deer resistant: The plant has natural resistance to deer, which can be beneficial in areas where deer browsing is a problem for gardens.
    • Architectural interest: The spherical blue blooms and the spiky texture of the foliage add unique architectural interest to garden designs.
    • Low maintenance: Globe thistle requires minimal care once established, which is perfect for gardeners looking for low-maintenance plant options.
    • Long blooming: The plant has a long flowering period, providing color and interest in the garden throughout the summer months.
    • Cut flower: The blooms make excellent cut flowers for arrangements, with the added advantage that they can be dried for long-lasting displays.
    • Winter interest: The dried stems and flower heads can provide visual interest in the garden even during the winter months.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue', commonly known as Globe Thistle, can be used to create a natural dye for textiles, producing a range of blue and gray shades depending on the mordant used.
    • In some cultures, the spiky leaves of the Globe Thistle have traditionally been used as a natural form of protection to deter animals from entering garden areas or to fortify the bottoms of fences.
    • The dried flowers of Globe Thistle can be used in crafting, such as making decorative wreaths or adding an interesting texture to mixed dried flower arrangements.
    • Globe Thistle can serve as an educational tool in gardens or schools to teach about pollinators, as it attracts bees and butterflies.
    • The seed heads of the Globe Thistle can be used as natural bird feeders in the garden, particularly in winter when food is scarce for birds.
    • The strong stems of Globe Thistle can be harvested and dried to be used as natural skewers for kabobs or other culinary presentations.
    • Photographers and artists often use Globe Thistle as a unique subject for photography, paintings, and botanical illustration due to its striking spherical shape and color.
    • The plant can be incorporated into themed gardens, such as xeriscape or rock gardens, for its drought-tolerant and low-maintenance qualities.
    • Globe Thistle can be used in floristry for its ability to stand out in fresh flower arrangements, adding both height and texture.
    • Landscapers may use Globe Thistle in mass plantings to create a visual impact with their repetitive geometric form and contrasting color against green foliage.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Globe thistle is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Globe thistle is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Uniqueness and Individuality: Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue', commonly known as Globe Thistle, has a distinct spherical bloom structure that sets it apart from other flowers, symbolizing the celebration of one's individual traits.
    • Mysticism and Magic: With its deep blue globular flower heads and spiky appearance, Globe Thistle can be associated with the mystical and the magical, often finding a place in gardens designed with a fairy tale or otherworldly theme.
    • Attraction and Intrigue: Globe Thistle's unique appearance and texture attract attention and curiosity, representing the allure of the unknown and the power of drawing others in.
    • Protection: The spiny leaves and stems of the Globe Thistle are reminiscent of a defensive barrier, symbolizing protection and the ability to guard oneself against harm.
    • Independence: As a hardy and resilient plant that can thrive in poor soils, the Globe Thistle is often seen as a symbol of self-reliance and independence.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Globe thistle 'Veitch's Blue' should be watered deeply but infrequently, as it is drought-tolerant once established. During the first growing season, to aid root growth, water the plant once per week with approximately 1 gallon per plant to ensure the soil is moistened to a depth of at least 8 inches. After establishment, reduce watering to every two to three weeks, depending on weather conditions. Always allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions to prevent root rot. During particularly hot or dry spells, weekly watering may be necessary.

  • sunLight

    Globe thistle 'Veitch's Blue' thrives in full sun conditions, where it can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. The ideal location would be an unobstructed southern or western exposure to maximize light intensity and encourage robust growth and better flowering performance.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Globe thistle 'Veitch's Blue' is hardy and can withstand a wide range of temperatures, surviving minimum temperatures down to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant prefers the warmth, with an ideal growing range between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposure to sustained temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, as this may cause stress to the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Globe thistle 'Veitch's Blue' should be pruned to remove spent flower heads to encourage a second bloom and to maintain plant appearance. Prune the plant in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Cut back the previous year's stems to a matter of inches above ground level. This annual pruning encourages healthier plants and more vigorous flowering.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Globe Thistle thrives best in a well-draining soil mix with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 8.0. A mixture of garden soil, compost, and gritty material like sand or perlite promotes healthy growth. Ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.

  • plantRepotting

    The Globe Thistle usually does not need frequent repotting and can be done every 3-4 years. Over time, divide clumps to rejuvenate and propagate.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Globe Thistle prefers low to average humidity levels, typical of a Mediterranean climate, and does not require high humidity to thrive.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Globe Thistle in a sunny spot with ample light.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, in well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Globe Thistle 'Veitch's Blue' begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in spring when the soil warms up. Seedlings will emerge and establish a rosette of foliage in their first growing season. The plant will then enter a vegetative stage, focusing on root and foliage development during its first year. In subsequent years, usually starting in the second year, it will produce tall, sturdy stems that bear the characteristic round, blue flower heads in mid to late summer. After blooming, the plant sets seed, which can be dispersed by wind or wildlife, allowing the cycle to begin anew. When the growing season ends, the Globe Thistle 'Veitch's Blue' will die back to the ground in winter, as it is a herbaceous perennial, to re-emerge from its rootstock the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer

    • Propogation: Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue', commonly referred to as Globe Thistle, can be propagated by dividing the plant in early spring or by sowing seeds. The most popular method of propagation for this ornamental perennial is division. Gardeners divide the clumps every few years, ideally in early spring when the new growth just begins to show. To divide, you would carefully lift the entire plant out of the ground using a fork or spade, ensuring minimal root disturbance. Then, using a sharp knife or spade, split the clump into smaller sections, each with a portion of the root system and a few shoots. The divisions should be immediately replanted at the same depth they were originally growing and watered thoroughly. This method not only propagates new plants but also rejuvenates older clumps, encouraging more vigorous growth and flowering.