- Position: full sun
- Soil: well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Hardiness: hardy annual
Piercing, bright blue flowers with ruffled petals and violet-blue centres appear from early to late summer among lance-shaped, mid-green leaves. Once a common sight in cornfields, this lovely annual is perfect for naturalising in a sunny wildflower meadow and is a magnet for butterflies and bees. The flower petals are edible and have a clove-like taste.
- Garden care: Wild flowers prefer poor soils, so do not apply fertiliser. Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering. In autumn, cut the faded flowerheads down to the ground and compost the dead stems.
- Sow: March-May or September - October
- Flowering: July - August-September or May -July
- Approximate quantity: 200 seeds.
“Full, cobalt- blue thistles on stiff branching stems top jagged silver foliage on this giant, architectural cardoon that revels in hot sun”
Val Bourne - Garden Writer