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Pink ornamental Thistles

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Pink-flowering Thistles are mainly found among the plume thistles, or Cirsium. The River (or Stream) Thistle Cirsium rivulare, and the Field Thistle Cirsium arvense, are wild plants with very beautifully coloured flowers, while Cirsium japonicum Rose Beauty offers spectacular soft pink to magenta spiky flower heads. But other pink thistles also deserve a place in our gardens, such as Onopordum nervosum, a monumental biennial species which reaches over 2 metres (7 feet) from the ground and has large purplish flowers. In the wild teasel Dipsacus fullonum, nicknamed "Bird's Cabaret", the pink becomes softer, more mauve, on a plant that blooms at human height and offers birds small water basins in the hollow of its leaves. In your flowerbeds, also make room for the Cardoon, a large vegetable plant with magnificent silver foliage and large purple-pink flowers. Thistles are undemanding, easy to grow and incomparable for spicing up a flower bed. They are highly ornamental with their original and striking flowers, very durable in flowerbeds as well as in fresh or dried bouquets. But also for their generally prickly foliage, sometimes beautifully variegated or patterned, animated with metallic reflections.

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