Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’

14 Jul

Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum' (16/06/2014, Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland)

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ (16/06/2014, Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Asteraceae

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ is a deciduous perennial with an upright habit. Its mid leaves are lanceolate with serrate margins to the upper part of the plant and deeply lobed at the lower, up to 25cm long and 9cm broad. Its dark pink/ mauve flowers are spherical and up to 3cm across. Its fruit is an achene. Its roots are rhizomes.

Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum' Flower (16/06/2014, Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland)

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ Flower (16/06/2014, Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland)

The species Cirsium rivulare is native to cenral and south central Europe. In its native habitat it grows in wet meadows, ditches and river banks.

The etymological root of the binomial name Cirsium is derived from the ancient Greek kirsion, the name for a thistle. Rivulare is derived from the Latin rivulus meaning ‘rivulet’.

The landscape architect may find Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ useful as part of prairie type planting scheme.

Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum' Leaf (16/06/2014, Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland)

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ Leaf (16/06/2014, Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland)

Ecologically, Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ is very attractive to pollinating insects.

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’  prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’ requires little maintenance. To keep a tidy appearance the flower heads may be removed after flowering.

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