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Echinops sphaerocephalus

Echinops sphaerocephalus, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Asterales

Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Carduoideae
Tribus: Cardueae
Subtribus: Echinopsinae
Genus: Echinops
Species: Echinops sphaerocephalus
Subspecies: E. s. subsp. albidus – E. s. subsp. sphaerocephalus – E. s. subsp. taygeteus
Varietas: E. s. var. koelzii

Echinops sphaerocephalus L.

Echinops sphaerocephalus Miq. = Echinops davuricus Fisch. ex DC.
Echinops sphaerocephalus Sibth. & Sm. = Echinops spinosissimus subsp. spinosissimus


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 814. Reference page.


Hassler, M. 2018. Echinops sphaerocephalus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2018 May 18. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Echinops sphaerocephalus. Published online. Accessed: May 18 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Echinops sphaerocephalus in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2018 May 18. 2018. Echinops sphaerocephalus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 18 May 2018.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Echinops sphaerocephalus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
беларуская: Мардоўнік круглагаловы
čeština: bělotrn kulatohlavý
English: glandular globe-thistle, great globe-thistle, pale globe-thistle
suomi: Valkopallo-ohdake
français: Oursin à têtes rondes
magyar: Fehér szamárkenyér
italiano: Cardo-pallottola maggiore
slovenčina: ježibaba guľatohlavá

Echinops sphaerocephalus, known by the common names glandular globe-thistle,[2] great globe-thistle[3] or pale globe-thistle, is a Eurasian species of globe-thistle belonging to the tribe Cardueae within the family Asteraceae.

flowers, with bee

Echinops sphaerocephalus is a glandular, woolly perennial herbaceous plant with an average height of 50–100 centimetres (20–39 in), occasionally reaching 200 cm (80 inches).[4]

Its erect branching, gray, slightly wrinkled and hairy stems bear the occasional large, soft, sharply toothed, sharp-lobed pointed green leaves. They are sticky hairy above, and white woolly below.[4]

Atop each stem is an almost perfectly spherical inflorescence up to 6 cm in diameter, packed with white or blue-gray disc florets. It flowers from June until September.[4][5]

The flowers are pollinated by insects (usually bees, wasps and butterflies) (entomogamy) and are hermaphrodite (self fertilization or autogamy). The fruits are hairy cylindrical achenes about 7 to 8 mm long. They ripen from September through October. The seeds are dispersed by wind (anemochory).[4]

This species is widespread across much of Eurasia but it lives on other continents where it was introduced, including North America where it is a widespread weed.[4][6][3] It is very common in the mountains of southern France and southern and central Europe.[7]

It grows in sunny, rocky or brushy places in more or less mineral rich soils at an altitude of 0–400 metres (0–1,312 ft) above sea level.


Echinops sphaerocephalus subsp. albidus (Boiss. et Spruner) Kozu.
Echinops sphaerocephalus subsp. sphaerocephalus
Echinops sphaerocephalus subsp. taygeteus (Boiss. & Heldr.) Kožuharov


The Plant List, Echinops sphaerocephalus L.
BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
Flora of North America, Great globe-thistle, boulette commune, Echinops sphaerocephalus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 814. 1753.
Flora of China, 蓝刺头 lan ci tou Echinops sphaerocephalus Linnaeus
Rose, Francis (1981). The Wild Flower Key. Frederick Warne & Co. pp. 386–387. ISBN 0-7232-2419-6.
Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
Altervista Flora Italiana, Cardo pallotta maggiore, drüsige Kugeldistel, bolltistel, Echinops sphaerocephalus L. includes photos and European distribution map

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