Echinops Ritro: the globe thisle

Echinops Ritro, known as globe thistle, is a perennial plant, which is characterized by the spherical shape of its inflorescences, which recall the typical appearance of a hedgehog. The name of this extraordinary plant comes from the Greek language Echinos, which means precisely porcupine, due to its roundish features and its thin inflorescences, like thorns. Echinops Ritro is a plant that can easily be found in several countries of southern Europe and western Asia.
In Italy it is widespread throughout the territory, from north to south, including the areas of the western Alps. The plant belongs to the Asterceae family, can reach a maximum height of about 80 cm, the stem is long and embellished with rare and alternate leaves with a dentate margin, the upper part is dark green and has a smooth consistency. front of white color has a rough layer. Echinops Ritro flowers, called flower heads, are small and have a delightful metallic blue hue.


Echinops Ritro is a decidedly rustic plant, which does not provide a sophisticated cultivation methodology, grows in any type of soil, in arid and stony places and even in uncultivated areas. It can also grow in considerable heights, up to 1,500 m.s.l.m. it resists well at temperatures that drop just below zero degrees. The only precaution to use when planting an Echinops Ritro is to implant it in a well exposed to the sun and very deep, its roots are indeed very long. It is also a plant suitable for those who do not have the so-called green thumb, since Echinops Ritro does not require much water or recurring fertilizations, an organic is sufficient during sowing. The planting must be performed in March or October, while the arrival of autumn will need to cut the stem at the base, to allow the plant to make an excellent vegetative rest.

Diseases and cures

Being a very rustic plant, it is not subject to any kind of particular diseases, the only problems that could be found, are the attacks carried out by fungi, in particular the powdery mildew. This fungus develops due to high humidity, causing yellowing of the leaves and the appearance of black spots. Once hit, the plant must be washed thoroughly with abundant water and then treated with homemade baking preparations of bicarbonate or vinegar.


Echinops Ritro is a very old plant, its origins probably date back to around 1500, when it was used to decorate and decorate public and private gardens. The plant was given an important medicinal capacity, it was dissolved in warm water and taken to fight inflammation. Many women in the past drank Echinops Ritro infusions to increase breast milk immediately after the birth of children.

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