Also known as Giant Sea Holly, this species produces very large spiny flower heads in an unusual silvery-grey shade, with a greenish cone in the center. Tends to act as a self-seeding biennial, coming back for several years without becoming a troublesome weed. Flowers are superb for cutting, fresh or dried. Garden mythology claims that the English plant woman Ellen Willmott (1858 – 1934) used to secretly scatter seeds of this plant while visiting other peoples' gardens.
Does well in any soil and attracts beneficial insects. Heat and cold tolerant zone 3-8. Drought tolerant once established.
Other Names: Giant Silver Sea Holly, Ellen Willmott's