Cirsium eriophorum Woolly Thistle
A large, hardy biennial that is native to the meadows and grasslands of Europe. Produces spiny leaves and stems, and dramatic, woolly, purple flower heads (7 cm across) in late summer. Fantastic plant for bees and other insects. Although it is a short lived plant it produces plenty of seeds that will keep it going in the garden. Height 1.5 metres. Full sun to part shade in any garden soil.