Initially photographed on 26th June as the flower buds were emerging green from the heart of the plant it has taken a further five weeks for the colour to fully form and open out as a developed flower.
Cirsium purpuratum is a short lived perennial from Japan. It grows in open broadleaved woodland in association with Alnus hirsuta, A. firma, Betula ermanii and Aster scabra at 1295 metres near Mount Haku.
The cut, jagged foliage expands forming an herbaceous clump of one metre diameter from which the flower spikes emerges. These grow to 1.2m and have purple shading to the stem. The intense purple spherical inflorescence can be 70mm across. It hangs down making the reticent beauty of the composite flower a challenge to observe. Enjoying an open situation in the garden border where it receives full sun.
When grown in a garden, catch the seeds before dispersal and sow a pan to keep the species vigorous in your garden.
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