Globe-thistle - Echinops agg

    Alt Name
    Globe Thistle

    This is a glandular, woolly herbaceous plant which reaches on average 50 to 100 centimetres in height, up to a maximum of two metres.  Each 'globe' is made up of many individual flowerheads, each of which is a single flower surrounded by 3 rows of bracts. Several species and hybrids of Globe-thistle are grown in gardens, and since any may escape and become established we have decided to treat them as an aggregate for NatureSpot purposes.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Identification to species-level depends on details of the phyllaries (the bracts beneath each flower) and the presence or absence of glandular hairs on leaves or phyllaries.

    Recording advice

    A specimen will be needed to verify species records


    Roadside verges and waste areas, often close to habitation as a garden escape which has persisted in the wild.

    When to see it

    Flowers June to August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Scattered thinly, but widely around much of Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map