Scientific Name: Echinops exaltatus

Common Name: tall globethistle

Other Common Names: Russian globethistle, giant globethistle

Synonyms: Echinops commutatus

Habit: Upright, sometimes to 7' tall, and branching. Grows from a rosette around a central taproot.

Leaves: Basal leaves form a rosette, while upper leaves clasp around the stem in an alternate arrangement. Leaf undersides especially can have woolly hairs. Leaves can be oval to pinnately lobed.

Identifying Characteristics: This species' unique, spherical flower is its most striking characteristic, which is normally present in late summer. It is typically the largest of the globethistles.

Flower Seed Head: The bluish or purplish flower is solitary and has an almost perfectly spherical shape. It can reach about 2 inches in diameter and is composed of many florets, each with 5 long, slender petals

Seed Fruit: Cylindrical, hairy achenes are less than 1/4 " in length and typically have a crown-shaped pappus with numerous, short scales.

Where Found: Native to Europe, but found in many cooler parts of North America. Mostly present in roadsides, pastures, and waterways.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Present

  • Plant family: Aster

  • Leaf arrangement: rosette; alternate

  • Leaf shape: oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire; lobed

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: purple; blue; white

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower diameter: larger

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: none