8 types of ornamental thistles for gardens or terraces

The Cirsium is a genus of thistles

Image – Flickr / Anthony Pena // Cirsium

Decorative thistles? You might think we’ve gone crazy. These plants are heavily armed with thorns: even their flowers have! But that is why we recommend that you take them into account when designing your garden or terrace. And it is that with them you can prevent some animals from accessing according to what areas, for example, planting them online; or create combinations of cacti and these herbs to have more variety of plants in the rockery.

So why not give them a try? Even just out of curiosity take a look at all the types of ornamental thistles that we will show you below. It is possible that, in the end, you will be encouraged to cultivate one.

Corymbosa Carlina

Yellow thistle is a thorny herb

Image – Wikimedia / David elgea

The Corymbosa Carlinaor cuckoo thistle as it is called in popular language, is a thorny herb that reaches a height of up to 1 meter. Its stems and leaves are green, and its flowers are yellow. These are grouped in inflorescences of about 2 centimeters in diameter.

Resists drought, and lives well on poor soils. In fact, in its places of origin it is easily found on the roadsides and in open fields.

centaur calcitrapa

The Centaurea calcitrapa is a small thistle

Image – Wikimedia / Xemenendura

It is an annual herb that reaches a height of 20 to 80 centimeters. Its stems and leaves are thorny, and produces flowers in round pink inflorescences during the summer months.

It is a species that withstands drought, and that grows on all types of soils. Its leaves and fresh flowers can be consumed in infusion, except if you are pregnant.

cherry blossoms ‘Atropurpureum’

The Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum' has red flowers

Image – greenseasons.eu

It is a species of perennial thistle that reaches a height of up to 1 meter, which has spiny and green leaves. Its flowers are tubular, very numerous, and form a round purple inflorescence.

It lives in fertile, humid and well-drained soils. It is a type of thistle that you can have without problems in those areas of the garden where puddles form more easily. Yes indeed, can not miss direct sunand not a pruning of flowers in autumn, after flowering.

Cynara cardunculus

Cynara cardunculus is a type of ornamental thistle

Image – Flickr / Linda De Volder

This is the scientific name for the edible thistle, a perennial herb that, in its first year, develops a rosette of large leaves, and from the second it blooms producing rounded heads formed by numerous lilac flowers.

To grow in conditions, it is essential that the soil has good drainageand planted in a sunny exposure. Thus, you can take advantage of it, not only to decorate, but also to consume (from this plant the stems are used once bleached – it is achieved by covering them with soil while they grow – and the cooked flowers).

Dipsacus fullonum

Dipsacus fullonum is a very pretty type of thistle

This thistle receives several names: cardencha, cardadores thistle, combs, shepherd’s rod. It has a life cycle of two years: the first germinates and grows, the second blooms and, after producing seeds, dies. It reaches a height of 1,5 meters, and has a straight and spiny stem with little branching. Its flowers are grouped in cone-shaped inflorescences, and are pink in color..

Grows in cool, clay soils. You can do it near fresh water courses. Although it only lives for about two years, it is a very easy to care plant that, with a moderate frequency of watering, is sure to produce many flowers with which your garden or terrace will look spectacular.

Echinops bannaticus

The Echinops bannaticus is a type of blue thistle

Image – Wikimedia Commons / Katherine Schneider

Blue thistle is a perennial herb that grows up to 120 centimeters tall. It has thorny stems and leaves. In summer it produces buds of blue flowersa very colorful color that contrasts very well with the green that is usually found in gardens, patios and terraces.

It withstands drought well, so it is perfect to have in those regions where it rains little. In addition, its flowers attract bees and butterflies, two beneficial insects for plants.

Giant eryngium

Eryngium giganteum is a silver-flowered thistle

Image – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Giant eryngium It is a type of thistle that I personally love. It is a short-lived herb, which does not exceed two years, but during the second year, specifically during the fall, produces silvery-blue flowers that look almost papery. It can reach a height of up to 1 meter, and is easily multiplied by seeds.

In addition, withstands drought, and lives well near the sea. Sometimes its flowers are cut and put in vases, where they remain intact for several days.

Onopordum acanthus

The Onopordum acanthium is a lilac-flowered thistle

Image – Wikimedia / Ecelan

Called borriquero thistle or tufa, it is an herb that lives one or two years depending on the climate (if the winter is mild, it will live longer than if the cold). It reaches 2 meters in height, and develops few branched stems strongly armed with thorns. The flower heads are lilac, and of good size.

As a curiosity, you should know that both leaves and flowers can be consumed. Of course, plant it in well-drained soils, and in a place where the sun always shines directly.

What do you think of these eight types of ornamental thistles?

8 types of ornamental thistles for gardens or terraces

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