Cirsium eriophorum Woolly Thistle
25 seeds per packet.
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.
Can be sown from autumn to June. Cover seed thinly, press in gently and keep top of compost from drying out. Keep pot cool over winter. Keep warm at 15 to 20°C in spring until germination, then move to somewhere cooler.
Carefully prick out seedlings when they have developed true leaves and are large enough to transplant to individual pots to grow on.