Plants for Water Wise Pollinator Gardens: Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)


Plant Family

Aster or Composite family (Asteraceae / Compositae)

Other Common Names



  • Herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe and Asia
  • Globe thistle is a striking plant with interesting round vibrant blue/purple thistle-like flowers and leaves that attract lots of bees
  • Can reach heights of up to 4 feet and can grow to 3 feet wide
  • Full sun but can tolerate part shade in hot climates
  • Cold hardy and grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8
  • Tolerates a wide variety of well drained soil types
  • Readily reseeds and can become a nuisance in the garden



Purple flowers with a spiny ball shape
Globe thistle plants Photo credit: Brian Rosen Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0