Echinops microcephalus

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JTh

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Echinops microcephalus
« on: August 08, 2015, 09:13:22 AM »
This was seen a couple of days ago near our place in Halkidiki, northern Greece. When I first saw it from the car, I thought it looked like Globularia because of the colour of the flowers, but it is of course not the right season. When I looked closer, I saw it was a very attractive small thistle, Echinops microcephalus, which I believe would be very nice as a garden plant in this climate.


P8060560 Echinops microcephalus.jpg
by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr


P8060571 Echinops microcephalus.jpg
by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr


P8060562 Echinops microcephalus.jpg
by Jorun Tharaldsen, on Flickr
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

Umbrian

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Re: Echinops microcephalus
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 09:36:22 AM »
Lovely Jorun, I grow Echinops globulosa and it copes very well with dry conditions but gets very floppy, this lower growing one looks ideal as I love the colour combinations within the plant. I have tried picking them at all stages of development but they soon disintegrate- shame as they look stunning in a pot and would be good for the winter months when flowers are scarce if only they would dry intact.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

David Dickinson

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Re: Echinops microcephalus
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 09:48:03 AM »
Hi Umbrian,

Don't know from experience but I read somewhere that spraying a flower with hairspray helps to keep it in place while it is drying or in a water vase. Maybe you've tried that already? :)
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Alisdair

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Re: Echinops microcephalus
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 09:59:52 AM »
Great idea Jorun. I don't think any commercial nursery sells plants or seeds - an opportunity there for someone!
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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JTh

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Re: Echinops microcephalus
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 11:25:08 AM »
I have heard about using hairspray to protect the colours, but I haven't tried it.
The plant must have been for sale, RHS's Plant Finder says: Last-listed in the RHS Plant Finder in 2005. Maybe somebody should try to propagate this? If I see some seeds, I'll try to collect them.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

David Dickinson

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Re: Echinops microcephalus
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2015, 02:54:28 PM »
Hi John,

If you are ever passing by that place again (you say it is quite near your place) perhaps Chantal would like to get seed for her seed bank? Just an idea.
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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JTh

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Re: Echinops microcephalus
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 04:15:48 PM »
I have thought about saving seeds myself, I'll see if I can find any ripe ones. I'm afraid it may be too early, though, we are leaving Greece in 8 days. The place is not far from here, but the road is not very good.
By the way, I'm afraid you have mixed my name with a couple of others, it's an old-Norse name, only used in Norway, but definitely a female one, and so am I.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

David Dickinson

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Re: Echinops microcephalus
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 10:36:18 AM »
Oooops! Which planet am I on. Forgive me Jth, we are going through a heatwave at the moment. I noticed that I've mixed up yourself, John and Alisdair in my replies over the last couple of days. That must be a record number of mistakes for the forum. Have a safe trip  :)
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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JTh

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Re: Echinops microcephalus
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 08:53:34 PM »
You are forgiven, David, you are not the first one to make this mistake.
We went back to the place where we saw the Echinops today, I believe it is still quite early for seeds, but I collected some which may be ripe, I am not quite sure.
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.