Echinops ritro
(sold as Taplow Blue)

Family: Asteraceae

Common name: GLOBE THISTLE

Native to: Central Asia, Central Europe, Eastern Europe


Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect, mounding

Max height: 4.5 feet

Max width: 2 feet






Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, bee, bird, specific butterfly species

Plant part consumed by birds: flower, seeds

Exposure: part shade, sun

Landscape uses: cut flower, dried flower

Propagates by: seed

flowers in summer

Soil types: well drained, wide range

USDA Zones: zone 3 -40 f, zone 4 -30 f, zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: -40 to +30 °F

Water: moderate

  • Echinops ritro taplow blue  weg0071
  • Echinops ritro taplow blue  weg0072 2
  • Echinops ritro taplow blue  weg0072 3
  • Echinops ritro taplow blue  weg0072
  • Echinops ritro taplow blue  weg0073

Echinops, also called GLOBE THISTLE, is a member of the Compositae (Aster) family. There are 205 species of GLOBE THISTLE. Echinops bannaticus, ritro, and sphaerocephalus are cultivated perennials grown in Zones 3-9; they grow from seed and prefer moderate watering. Echinops sphaerocephalus can grow to 6½ feet tall, the other two average 4 ½ feet tall. Birds will come to the plant to consume both the flower and seed.

Echinops ritro 'Taplow Blue' grows to 4 1/2 feet high by 2 feet wide and produces a cerulean blue globular flower. The flowers of this cultivar are bluer than violet-toned flowers of the parent species. It flowers in summer and can be grown in large containers. The leaves of the parent are a bit spiny as other plants in this genus. It will attract birds, bees, and butterflies.

Compositae attract several adult butterflies. Echinops in particular appeal to these:
Agraulis vanillae, GULF FRITILLARY
Apodemia mormo, Mormon Metalmark
Callophrys nelsoni, Nelson's Hairstreak
Danaus plexippus, Monarch
Junonia coenia, Common Buckeye
Lerodea eufala, Eufala Skipper
Limenitis archippus, Viceroy
Lycaena phlaeas, American Copper
Neominois ridingsii, Ridings' Satyr
Neophasia menapia, Pine White
Phyciodes phaon, Phaon Crescent
Plebejus icarioides, Boisduval's Blue

Junonia evarete