Echinops is a genus that contains about 150 species of flowering plants native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa. The genus belongs to the Asteraceae family, one of the largest plant families.
Echinops are well known and recognizable for their globular crown of deep blue flowers and spiny, woolly foliage that is often gray-green. It is useful ground-cover plant, an excellent cut flower and a good choice for the border, capable of attracting any pollinators around.
The genus name is derived from the Greek words “ekhinos” (hedgehog) and “opisis” (head), which refers to the flowers head that looks a bit like a hedgehog.
Echinops means independence and nobility.
Interesting facts about Echinops:
Be careful, These Plants Have Spines
Echinops has sharp spines so it’s recommended to use gloves when handling this plant. The spines are long and sharp in some species so be careful!
Benefits and Uses
Due to the fact that roots are anti-inflammatory and galactogogue, the plant has been used in medicine throughout the history in the treatment of distension of the breast, mastitis and lack of milk in nursing mothers.
The flowers are mostly blue, but you can also find them in white, purple and blue-grey. Their long stems are gray-green in color.
The plant can grow from 50 cm to 1,5 metres (2 to 5 ft) in height.
Echinops grows best in well drained soil and prefers a pH between 5.5 and 7.0.