This is truly one of the most impressive plants you can grow in the UK if you can give it room. Candelabras of large mauve flowers open on much-branching white woolly stems which arise from a huge grey spiky rosette in spring.
For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.
Common name:Scotch Thistle, Giant Cotton Thistle