Echinops bannaticus

‘The Giant’



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Echinops bannaticus ‘The Giant’

Silver-blue flower globes, soaring up in the air over summer, make an arresting sight on Echinops bannaticus ‘The Giant’.
As the balls of flowers open china blue and transition through to pale steely silver-blue.

Giant silver-blue golf balls

‘The Giant’ really is the giant of the Echinops family,quite the biggest in every way.
So its fuzzy silver-blue balls are the largest of all, as they try to be basketballs, rather than golf ball sized.
Making them twice as big as any other Echinops. 
(Scroll down to “Growing” section below for plant details, how / where to grow). 

Bouncing up to 2m. in summer

And the whole plant in full flower bounces up to 2m. tall, so much taller than any other of the family.
Echinops bannaticus ‘The Giant’ really is an imposing and magnificent sight as a background in any garden.

Tough as nails – Best grown lean & mean

The hardiness of Echinops is legendary. Because they actually enjoy dry, heat, frost, and poor soil.
They actually grow to their best in poorer soils, and should not be over fertilized.
They even tolerate summer humidity, making them also suitable for gardeners in sub-tropical climates.

Superb cut flowers

Echinops make superb cut flowers, either fresh or dried. And their long, clean stems make them an easy cut flower to harvest.

Growing: Echinops bannaticus ‘The Giant’

Height with flowers: A very upright plant, and imposingly tall at 1m. to 2m. approx.
Width: 1m approx.

Ideal for hot, dry and poor soil

Soil: Tolerates most soils, from rich loam to the poorest, meanest, sand or gravel. But they do insist on good drainage. And they are actually perform best when grown in lean and mean conditions.
Water-wise: Echinops have deep tap roots, so this enables them to forage for water, resist dry periods, and survive where others would melt. So they are an excellent choice for water-wise gardens.

Bask in sun & heat

Position: Full Sun. Echinops are strong and weather-proof, so very suitable for seaside and exposed gardens. And they just bask in sun and heat. They are at their strongest when grown in more difficult, drier and poor conditions.
Frost: Extremely frost hardy, and can tolerate hard frosts down to at least -20C.
Growth: Perennial clump which slowly thickens, but is not invasive. Remains as a dense, round clump of unusual serrated foliage.

Other benefits

Beneficial for wildlife: Bees just adore rustling around amongst the myriad of flowers in each globe, as they regard them as a high-rise supermarket of nectar. And as the rootle around, they come out laden with pollen. Butterflies are similarly besotted with them.
Care: Easy, low care, as the only work required is to cut back the flower stems as they finish. This will encourage a second and even a third crop of flowers in a single season.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Bliss, because both deer and rabbits find the tough and softly spiny leaves unpalatable.
Origin: Native to Southern and Eastern Europe (from Spain east to Turkey, Ukraine, and Belarus), and western Asia. So this of course explains their hardiness in hot and dry conditions.


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