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Onopordon acanthium (Scotch Thistle, Onopordon)

Type Herbaceous flower, Deciduous, Flowering
Form Spiky Foliage / Spiky Upright Form, Architectural Form
Size Large Border / Screening Plant (1.8 to 3m height)
Colours Dark blue Flowers (Summer), Silver Foliage
Care Regular Maintenance Required - Tough Plant
Hardiness Frost hardy, Drought Tolerant
Growth Fast Growing Plant
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Onopordon acanthium Description

This startling looking plant is a real statement plant. Its reflective silver gray heavily spined foliage really stands out and is crowned by terminal mauve blue flowers that are much loved by bees.

Onopordon acanthium - Cultivation Notes

Scotch Thistle is a fast growing biennial that grows onwards and upwards at a startling rate. It will tolerate any well drained soil in full sun and it will freely spread among other herbaceous plants. This plant requires staking and a sheltered location. Plant towards towards the back of the border and allow to grow up through surrounding plants.

Strengths, Weaknesses & Design Usage

Strengths of Onopordon acanthium:

  • Sun loving drought tolerant plant
  • Ornamental winter bark / tracery
  • Spiney growth can deter unwanted visitors!
  • Attracts wildlife to feed or nest
  • All round tough plant suitable for problem areas
  • Ideal for fast growing screening
  • Architectural plant – ideal as a ‘stand out’ plant
  • Tolerates full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils

Weaknesses of Onopordon acanthium

  • Spiney plant - can scratch young children and gardeners!

Design & Plant Use for Onopordon acanthium:

  • Summer flowering herbaceous plant suitable for border planting
  • Tall summer flowering shrub suitable for back of border planting
  • Architectural plant with dramatic foliage suitable for hot dry spot
  • Ideal for informal cottage garden style planting

View all the plants listed in Genus Onopordon

View other herbaceous flowers with dark blue flowers, or herbaceous flowers with silver foliage

Common Missspellings: Onopordem, Onophordum

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