Virtues: Veitch’s Blue thistle is an herbaceous perennial that thrives in full sun. This plant is relatively low-maintenance and it attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Deer steer clear, preferring tastier plants.This is an excellent flower for cutting and drying.
Common name: ‘Veitch’s Blue’ globe thistle
Botanical name: Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’
Flowers: The pincushion blooms are an indigo to steel blue and 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
Foliage: The spiny steel-gray leaves have a bluish tint and are deeply dissected. The leaves’ undersides have a fuzzy white coating. The basal leaves growing 6 to 8 inches long while the leaves lining the upper stems remain shorter.
Habit: Compact and clump-forming. Globe thistle normally lives about 10 years and reaches a height of 3 to 3.5 feet and spreads 1.5 to 2 feet.
Season: Mid- to late summer.
How to grow it: ‘Veitch’s Blue’ globe thistle needs almost desert-like conditions in terms of watering. Once it is established, it hardly needs any maintenance. The soil should be kept at a dry to average moisture level and should be very well drained. This plant is drought tolerant and prefers poor, alkaline soils. Avoid rich soils that would make it floppy. USDA Zones 4–8.