Globe thistles

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Globe thistles
Glandular globular thistle (Echinops sphaerocephalus), inflorescence

Glandular globular thistle ( Echinops sphaerocephalus ), inflorescence

Euasterids II
Order : Astern-like (Asterales)
Family : Daisy family (Asteraceae)
Subfamily : Carduoideae
Tribe : Cynareae
Genre : Globe thistles
Scientific name

The Echinops ( Echinops ) are a plant kind from the family of the daisy family (Asteraceae).


Illustration of the leaved globular thistle ( Echinops sphaerocephalus )

Vegetative characteristics

The spherical thistle species are perennial herbaceous plants . As survival organs, they form rhizomes . The independently upright stems are angular. The alternately arranged leaves are one to two pinnate and white, woolly and tomentose underneath.

Generative characteristics

The cups are single-flowered, have a hermaphrodite tubular flower and are surrounded by a multi-row envelope. Numerous cups form spherical inflorescences of the second order, which have a diameter of 4 to 8 centimeters. The cups bloom from top to bottom within a head. The corolla is tubular, divided almost to the bottom. The flower color is steel blue to white, the inflorescences as a whole are mostly bluish. The stamens are blue-gray.

The achenes are cylindrical, pentagonal and hairy adjacent to them. The pappus is short-scaled.

Banat ball thistle ( Echinops bannaticus )
Ruthenian globe thistle ( Echinops ritro )
Echinops spinosissimus subsp. spinosissimus on the island of Samos

Systematics and distribution

The genus Echinops was established by Carl von Linné . The generic name Echinops is derived from the Greek  ἐχῖνος echînos "hedgehog" and ὤψ ṓps "appearance, face" and refers to the resemblance of the heads to a curled up hedgehog.

The spherical thistles are placed within the subfamily Carduoideae in the tribe Cardueae and subtribe Echinopsidinae.

The globe thistles are found in Eurasia and Africa . There are around 120 species, twelve of which are found in Europe.

The species native to or occurring in Central Europe are:

  • Banat ball thistle ( Echinops bannaticus Rochel ex Schrad. ): It comes from Southeastern Europe, is cultivated as an ornamental plant and rarely goes wild.
  • Glandular spherical thistle ( Echinops exaltatus Schrad. ): It is native to Eastern and Southeastern Europe, has been wild as an ornamental plant and partly naturalized since the 19th century.
  • Ruthenian ball thistle ( Echinops ritro L. ): It occurs in the Pannonian region and is endangered in Austria.
  • Glandular spherical thistle ( Echinops sphaerocephalus L. )

Other types (selection):

supporting documents

  • Siegmund Seybold (Ed.): Schmeil-Fitschen interactive . CD-ROM, version 1.1. Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2002, ISBN 3-494-01327-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. David J. Keil: Echinops , pp. 85-86 - text online with the same text as the printed work , In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (Ed.): Flora of North America North of Mexico. Volume 19: Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 6: Asteraceae, part 1 (Mutisieae – Anthemideae). Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, 2006, ISBN 0-19-530563-9 .
  2. ^ A b Manfred A. Fischer, Wolfgang Adler, Karl Oswald: Excursion flora for Austria, Liechtenstein and South Tyrol . 2nd, improved and enlarged edition. State of Upper Austria, Biology Center of the Upper Austrian State Museums, Linz 2005, ISBN 3-85474-140-5 .
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Werner Greuter (2006+): Compositae (pro parte majore). In: Werner Greuter, E. von Raab-Straube (Ed.): Compositae. : Datasheet Echinops In: Euro + Med Plantbase - the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity.
  4. Zhu Shi, Werner Greuter : Echinopeae - the same text online as the printed work , In: Wu Zheng-yi, Peter H. Raven, Deyuan Hong (Ed.): Flora of China. Volume 20-21: Asteraceae. Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijing and St. Louis 2010.
  5. Echinops in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.

Web links

Commons : Globe thistles ( Echinops )  - album with pictures, videos and audio files