Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'

3 × 9cm pots £26.97 £19.99
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9cm pot £8.99
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6 × 9cm pots £53.94 £29.99
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Buy Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum' brook thistle: Deep crimson thistle-like flowers

This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: moist, well-drained
  • Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
  • Flowering period: July to August
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

  • Spectacular, deep crimson thistles appear on erect stems in July and August above spiny, dark green leaves. This handsome, towering thistle is a valuable addition to a summer garden and looks equally at home in a wildflower meadow, beside water or in groups among other perennials. Although it will tolerate dry conditions and partial shade, it does best in a moist, sunny border.

  • Garden care: Divide congested plants from autumn to spring and cut back to the ground in autumn to prevent self-seeding.

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Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread
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I would always have this plant in the garden


My favourite plant. Bees love the flowers and birds feed on the seed heads.




Stunning thistles


I had these thistles in a pot last summer. They lasted so long and flowered beautifully. The bees absolutely adored them and they brought a real splash of colour to my balcony garden. I would buy these again.

Pelo Liz



Great purchase!


Bought these to go at the back of a border to attract wildlife. They have overwintered fine and grown into big healthy plants with loads of flowers. They attract lots of pollinators and are a stunning colour. Their foliage is hidden by other things in the foreground as a don't believe it's that attractive.




Beautiful thistle


Ornamental thistle that provides valuable pollen and nectar for insects. Long lasting and numerous flowers provide seeds for birds in autumn.

Park keeper

West Midlands




I planted out 3 small pots last year in a north west border and waited... not much growth last year but this year they have sprouted so fast and are now at maximum height, filling out every day with plenty flowers. I moved one plant to a more shaded spot beside a hedge in south east back garden, it's coming on and producing flowers too. Just waiting for the bees to arrive.

Mrs F



A definite plus in my garden.


Love this plant. It did well last year and I hope it will this year.






These have been very happy in my hot bed - still flowers on them in December! More leaf than I was expecting - you really want them somewhere near the back so you just see the brilliant pink of the heads between/behind everything else. Deadheading meant they kept coming back - great bang for your buck.




Vigorous healthy plant, would buy again


Gave the height I wanted, but the leaves to big for a prairie style garden so I'll be moving it




Great for Bees.


Wonderful flower colour, very unusual. Spreads quickly and thrives in most soil as long as it is in a sunny spot. Fantastic for attracting Bees, which cluster all over the flowers. Only downside is it stopped flowering after only a month, compared to other Brooke Thistles, I have grown, which last all summer. Hopefully in its second year it will last longer.




Hasn't grown as expected. Weak growth.


Only produced one flower.





4.7 22


What compost should I use to pot these thistles


Hi I'd suggest Sylvagrow John Innes No.3 mature plants peat free - 15 litres


how tall do they grow


Hello there These can grow to 1.2m tall. Hope this helps.

I received my thistle about six weeks ago but haven't been able to plant out. The outer leaves have withered (eek) but there's a lovely tiny green shoot in the centre so it's still alive (just). Planning to trim outer leaves and replant in a bigger pot to hopefully strengthen it before planting into bed. Should I feed it with anything? Or do anything different?

The Intermittent Gardener

Hello, If you cannot plant it out in the border, then I would pot it up as soon as you can. The potting compost usually contains nutrients, so I would not give it anything else now, but do keep in mind that it will die back completely in the autumn and after that it wont make a reappearance again until spring next year.


2006 Planting Chelsea Flower Show enquiry Hi, I see you have plants available for the current show, but do you have a plant list for the 2006 award winner (Daily Telegraph,Tom Stuart Smith) available as I am interested in buying some of these plants? Thank you for your time, Kelly

kelly mackenzie

Hello Kelly, He did use a lot of plants in his garden - here is a list which includes most. Allium Purple Sensation Anthriscus Ravens Wing Aquilegia Ruby Port Astrantia Claret Carex testacea Cirsium rivulare atropurpureum Dahlia Dark Desire Euphorbia Fireglow Geranium Lily Lovell Geranium phaeum Samobor Geranium Phillipe Valpelle Geranium psilostemmon Geum Princess Juliana Gillenia trifoliata Hakonechloa macra Iris Dusky Challenger Iris Dutch Chocolate Iris Sultan's Palace Iris Superstition Iris Supreme Sultan Knautia macedonica Lavandula angustifolia Nepeta subsessilis Washfield Nepeta Walkers low Purple fennel - Giant Bronze Rodgersia pinnata Superba Rodgersia podophylla Salvia Mainacht Sedum matrona Stachys byzantina Stipa arundinacea (syn.Anemanthele lessoniana) Stipa gigantea Tulip Abu Hassan Tulip Ballerina Tulip Queen of Night Verbascum Helen Johnston I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk


Indulge a passion for ornamental grasses by creating a prairie- or meadow-style garden. They can be richly planted with native wildflowers or a selection of complementary perennials and self-seeding annuals to create a naturalistic planting effect.

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