Small Globe Thistle
Globe Thistle, a Mediterranean plant long in cultivation throughout Europe, is an undemanding perennial suitable for the border or wild garden. Williamsburg's John Custis might have received this species or its more vigorous cousin, E. sphaerocephalus, from his English Patron Peter Collinson in 1738. Both are listed in Parkison's early 17th-century herbal, and Philip Miller's 18th-century botanical dictionary. Jefferson's gardening mentor, Bernard McMahon, also included Small Globe Thistle in his 1806 American Gardener's Calendar, in the Appendix under "hardy perennial and biennial fibrous rooted flowering plants." Its flower is very attractive to insects and, like the Strawflower, is popular as a cut flower and for drying.
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