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Benefits and tolerances: Bold, architectural form; long-blooming flowers that are suitable for cutting or drying; tolerant of full sun, poor soils, heat and drought
When to plant: Spring through fall
Seasonal interest: Unique blue flowers July through October, peaking in late July to mid-August
Distinguishing traits: Stiff white flower stems emerge from a base of large, deeply lobed, spiny leaves that are deep green on the upper surface and white and woolly below. Blue flowers form a round inflorescence that resembles a golf ball covered with blue bugle beads.
Planting notes. Place globe thistle in full sun and plant it in well-drained soil. Porous, sandy loam is ideal, but globe thistle is fairly adaptable. Plants may require staking if they're grown in a rich, moist soil. Deadhead to prevent self-sowing.