SPECIES DESCRIPTION
ECHINOPS SPINOSISSIMUS subsp. SPINOSISSIMUS

Family:- COMPOSITAE/Sect. RYTRODES

Common Names:- Globe-thistle

Synonyms:- None

Meaning:- Echinops (Gr) Resembling an Hedgehog.
                 Spinosissimus (L) Most spiny.
                
General description:- Perennial or annual.

Stem:-
1) 50-80 cm, branched, densely covered in stiff red bristly hairs.

Leaves:-
1) Ovate-lanceolate in outline, usually 2-pinnatisect, with simple, glandular hairy on
    the veins beneath, white-tomentose.
2) Segments triangular to broadly lanceolate, with short, slender marginal spines.

Flowers:-
1) Inflorescence 35-55 cm in diam, greenish. 
2) Involucre, 15-25 mm; setae equalling or slightly shorter than the outer bracts.
3) Bracts, 20, glabrous; outer bracts spathulate, acuminate or shortly spinose, 
    patent subulate distally, dentate, not more than as long as capitulum.
4) Middle bracts lanceolate, long-spinose, equalling the outer, with marginal
    spines twice as long as the capitulum or absent.
5) Corolla pale blue.

Fruit:-
1) Achenes with tuft of stiff hairs.
2) Pappus-setae connate at the base.

Key features:-
1) Middle involucral bracts less than twice as long as the outer, shortly spinose or
    long-acuminate.
2) Involucre 15-25 mm, greenish.
3) Stems densely covered in stiff red bristly hairs.

Click here for a glossary of terms used.

Habitat:- Dry grassland, roadsides, fallow fields. 0-1000 m.

Distribution:- Sicily and Greece eastwards, including Crete and Cyprus.
Widespread and common on Crete.

Flowering time:- Mid-May to Aug.

Photos by:- Steve Lenton