BLUE GLOBE-THISTLE

Echinops bannaticus

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8azure flower8blue
inner
inner8purple
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZglobed
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

6th Sept 2015, dunes, Hall Road, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
With a Canadian Goldenrod in the foreground.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Up to 1.3m tall with singular spikey blue globular flowers on the ends of long stalks.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Green Spear Thistle-like leaves on greyish-white stems.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Flowers azure-blue, flowers finishing from the bottom of the sphere working upwards.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Complete with butterfly. Stems lack glandular hairs.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Five re-curved narrow petals and a single disc-floret protruding from the centre.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Finished flowering, steel-blue phyllaries only.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The phyllaries are purple-tinged steel-blue and un-like the similar Globe-Thistle (Echinops exaltatus) lack any stalked glands.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Phyllaries are long-pointed and with fine long teeth.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Has stem leaves which are spikily lobed. Amidst possibly Canadian Goldenrod although at less than a metre it is perhaps a little short for that?


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Leaves deeply pinnately lobed.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Leaves greyish beneath.


1st Aug 2013, Waterloo, Sefton Coast, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Upper surface of leaf are supposed to lack glandular hairs (for Blue Globe-thistle), but does it here? Some teeth spine-tipped with weak spines.


Easily confused with : Globular Globe-thistle (Echinops sphaerocephalus) and to Globe-thistle (Echinops exaltatus) and to their mutual hybrid Echinops × pellenzianus [plants in the same Echinops Genus].

Not to be semantically confused with : Common Blue-Sowthistle (Sonchus plumieri), Globeflower (Trollius europaeus) nor with Globe Artichoke (Cyanura cardunculus) nor Globe Daisy (Globularia) (the latter being non-native and not growing wild in the UK) [plants with similar names, some in differing families]

Some similarities to : Small Teasel (Dipsacus pilosus) but that has a smaller globular flower and the flowers are white and the leaves not lobed but rather ellipsoid to oblong. Also, Small Teasel is not in the same family but rather in the Teasel Family (Dipsacaceae)

Slight resemblance to : Sea-Holly (Eryngium maritimum) because that too has almost spherical flowers with a steel-blue hue and holly-like prickly leaves, but the leaves are also steel-blue. It is also much shorter and only found near the sea, and is not even in the same family.

No relation to : Eryngium [plants with a slightly similar Genus name which also have nearly spherical flower-heads but they are in the Carrot Family (Apiaceae) (and not the Asteraceae family)].

There is still the slight? possibility that the above photographs represent either Globe-thistle or Glandular Globe-thistle; it all depends upon your interpretation of 'strongly re-curved phyllaries', 'slightly curved phyllaries' and 'phyllaries erect or slightly curved at tip', or of 'clasping the stem', etc. Anyway, Blue Globe-thistle is botanically reported at Crosby, whereas neither of the other two Globe-thistles are. It's your choice, take your pick. However, if you opt for one of the other globe-thistles, then please bear in mind that Blue Globe-thistle is the only one with a BSBI-mapped hectad presence where the photographs were taken ~

Not native to the UK, but found mainly in gardens but also naturalised beside railways and other waste places. The above specimen naturalised on older sand-dune slacks on the Sefton Coast.

A QUATERNARY COMPOUND and a QUINOLINONE ALKALOID


A quaternary quinoline alkaloid Echinorine is found in the fruits and all the other organs of many Echinops species and is the only alkaloid present. It is only found during the beginning of germination or during stem elongation, at all other times is absent because it is completely destroyed by the plant in the process of making use of it. A related quinolinone alkaloid called Echinopsine (aka N-methyl-4-quinolone) is also found as an artefact of the storage or extraction processes as are all other similar reported substances.


  Echinops bannaticus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Echinops
Echinops
(Globe-Thistles)

BLUE GLOBE-THISTLE

Echinops bannaticus

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]