Onopordum acanthium
Scotch Thistle, Scottish Thistle
Type/Hardiness Biennial, Hardy
Flowering period Summer
Height 6-9ft/2-3m
Light preference Full sun
Soil preference Any
Sowing time/depth Autumn, Spring,
I don't generally welcome thistles in the garden, but this is an exception! This huge, ornamental thistle, which can reach 3 metres tall and a metre across, has spiny, silver-green leaves on a thick, branching stem, from which beautiful spherical buds develop, opening to gigantic pinkish-purple thistle flowers which are very attractive to pollinating insects. Looks wonderful grouped at the back of the border (if you have the space) - otherwise an individual plant makes a dynamic, sculptural statement.

NOTE: Plants offered are in their first year of growth and will establish during the coming seasons, to flower next year. They are available for a limited time only as they will soon become too large for transportation!

Sowing and/or growing instructions
Very easy – either sow direct, 0.5-1.0cm deep, thinning to no more than one plant per square metre, or in pots, to be planted out later.
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