Various butterflies and burnet moths on a flower of Echinops ritro subsp. ruthenicus, in the Juliana Alpine Botanical Garden, Trenta, Bovec, Slovenia

Echinops ritro, the southern globethistle, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to southern and eastern Europe (from Spain east to Turkey, Ukraine, and Belarus), and western Asia.[2] The species is sparingly naturalized in scattered locations in Canada and the United States.[3][4]

It is a compact, bushy herbaceous perennial thistle, growing to 60 cm (24 in) tall, with broad prickly leaves and bearing globes of steel-blue flowers 2.5 cm - 4.5 cm in diameter, in late summer.[5]

Echinops ritro [6] and the subspecies E. ritro subsp. ruthenicus[7] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

  • Echinops ritro subsp. meyeri (DC.) Kožuharov
  • Echinops ritro subsp. ritro
  • Echinops ritro subsp. ruthenicus (M.Bieb.) Nyman
  • Echinops ritro subsp. sartorianus (Boiss. & Heldr.) Kožuharov
  • Echinops ritro subsp. siculus (Strobl) Greuter
  • Echinops ritro subsp. thracicus (Velen.) Kožuharov