Hinton Ampner Garden

Onopordum acanthium

Cotton Thistle


The Sunken Garden


A large,up to 2m, biennial plant with globe shaped, 2-6 cm flowers varying from dark pink to lavender, produced in the summer, and deeply lobed, spiny, leaves 10-50 cm wide, often covered with white woolly hairs and with the lower surface more densely covered than the upper. Seed germinates in late summer and produces a large rosette of spiny leaves the first year also forming a stout, fleshy taproot that may extend down 30 cm or more for a food reserve.

Site and Care:

Grow in full sun and well-drained soil preferably alkaline. Propagate by seed in late summer.