Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'

At a recent NGS open day we were inundated with the question ‘what IS that plant’. Now being a novice NGS-er I was not prepared with the Latin and Common name of every plant in the garden – not my garden, I was helping out! – so after the 3rd time of mumbling “Cirsium I think” I hot footed it to the nearest plant book library, not as far as you might think and delved in to find the exact name!

Page 203 in the new (and old) RHS What Plant When.

A tall floaty thistle-like plant with deeply divided leaves and rich reddy purple flowers. Clump forming. It likes moisture and plenty of sun.

I shall be taking some divisions when no one is looking!

  • patientgardener

    I have one of those and it is wonderful. Mine has clumped up quite a bit now so will see how to divide them

  • Had a similar experience with that flower. Could have happily spouted forth the Latin names of all the client’s plants in their garden (wasn’t a big garden!) but they pointed at that one and I just could not remember its name. Mumbled something about it being a member of the thistle family.

    Will now have to add it to my plant portfolio and under the section for ‘Habit’ will write; Clump forming with a name that’s easy to forget.

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