Arctic Glow Great Globe Thistle

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Misc Wildlife Value
Shade Full Sun
Area Coastal Areas, Exposed Windy Areas
Soil Good, Well Drained, Poor/Dry
Colour White/Cream
Type Pot Grown
Also Good Seedheads, Foliage
Flowering Jul, Aug

Echinops sphaerocephalus Arctic Glow

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SIZES 1-2 3-910+
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Echinops sphaerocephalus Arctic Glow

White-flowered Echinops sphaerocephalus Arctic Glow is a beautiful must-have for those difficult, hot areas with poor dry soil. Its pure-white, spherical pom-poms are made up of tiny, starry-shaped flowers on stems growing up to 1m tall. 

Also known as the Great Globe Thistle, the flowers are held on strong, branching stems which look a rich brown at first glance, but are actually green, covered with maroon hairs, providing a wonderful contrast to the flower heads.

The stems rise from spiny, deeply divided grey-green leaves, felted white underneath - it really is the full package! It's a classic herbaceous perennial with a twist.

Great In Your Garden...

Like many silver-leaved plants that love well-drained soils, it's ideal for coastal, exposed or gravel gardens, requiring very little attention, along with contrasting flowers such as Coreopsis grandiflora Early Sunrise.

For the best performance, don't coddle Arctic Glow or treat it with too much kindness! Rich soil and too much food will lead to weaker stems that will need staking and it hates having 'wet feet'. Give plants a hot position with full sun in well-drained soil, although it will tolerate light shade. In architectural gardens, drought-tolerant gardens or container arrangements, combine it with Eryngiums, half-hardy succulents and big-leaved exotics like Cannas or hardy bananas.

Loved by butterflies, the Great Globe Thistle sits well and provides structure to the wildlife garden. If you live in an area with heavy clay soil that gets cold and waterlogged in winter, try growing it in a raised bed or large container.

The airy, spherical flower heads are much loved for flower arranging, both for fresh and dried arrangements.


  • Colour: White starry globular flower heads.
  • Flowering: July to August.
  • Foliage: Grey-green leaves, white undersides.
  • Height: 1m.
  • Spread: 50cm.
  • Spacing: 50cm.
  • Position: Full sun.
  • Soil: Well-drained, poor, not heavy or waterlogged.

Did You Know...

Once the taproot of Echinops has matured, it is very difficult to transplant without seriously damaging the plant. Only divide plants less than four years old. They can be propagated by root cuttings in winter, however.

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Bareroot planting is best done between October and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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