Eryngium

Eryngium

Sea Holly

Dynamic is a rare adjective to apply to a plant, but it’s the best we can think of to describe Eryngium. From its leathery lobed leaves to the spiny, decorative bracts that host the flower, the Sea Holly has a sense of movement that is up and out. Excellent in fresh or dried arrangements, the flowers are borne on tall, branching stems, and the terminal blooms hold their color while lateral flowers develop, until the entire stem is covered with mature blossoms.

Eryngiums love well drained soil in the open sun, and are an arresting addition to the mixed border, especially when planted amidst Rudbeckia, the Achilleas, and grasses.

This cold-hardy species yields up-curving bracts that are long spiny slivers of silver plus thistle-like metallic-blue blossoms, surmounting branched stems that are tinted blue on their upper extremities. Marked with a smattering of pewter-hued speckles and white veining, deeply cut, gray-green leaves make a low-lying rosette for the remarkable floral spectacle.

Blooms July–September

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

This hardy Eryngium is big on blue—the electrifying, iridescent kind that promises to tantalize any garden visitor. A Blooms of Bressingham introduction, ‘Big Blue’s green spiky foliage and thick stems create an intriguing candelabra-shaped base for the bright 4 in. wide inflorescences. A blue drama is yours for the viewing as silvery white bracts and green cones, over the course of several weeks, gradually transmute amazing cerulean shades, imbuing even the stalks below.

(PPAF) MIDSPRING SHIPPING

Blooms July – September.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/2' high x 15" – 18" wide.

Zone 4/5.

<i>Eryngium bourgatii</i>

Hailing from the Pyrenees, this easily grown perennial boasts a compact clump of crisp undulating gray-green foliage and decorative thistlelike blooms. The distinctive ground-level leaves are artfully chiseled into narrow segments and etched with striking broad white veins. Mustering long lasting cool-colored intrigue, the round, medium-sized blue-green flowers are tended by long iron gray linear bracts.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Eryngium planum</i> ‘Blaukappe’

With silvered, narrow spiky ruffs that cradle metallic blue round flower heads, ‘Blaukappe’ makes a sterling addition to dried or fresh bouquets. The vividly colored “blue caps” crest stiff-branched, sturdy bluish stems arising from a handsome green basal rosette of coarsely toothed, rounded and leathery foliage. Let its fantastic mercury-hued accents temper the bronzed blades of Stipa arundinacea.

Blooms June–September.

Size: 2' 0" – 2-1/4' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

Pressing upward through fine saw-toothed, green succulent-like leaves, an abundance of multibranched pewter-blue stems yields some 85 ½-in. shimmering blue pincushions perched on spiny collars. This new Ernst Benary selection promises to inspire gardeners and florists alike with a taller sturdy stature and profuse brilliantly colored blooms, which mature quickly and make long lasting cut flowers.

Blooms July – September.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 8" – 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Though this adorable Sea Holly is brimming with cuteness and blue in a big way, its trim globular mound stays small. A dwarf compact rosette of toothed, thick dark green leaves unleashes stiff silver-blue stems and egg-shaped spiny purplish blue heads that appear in wondrous droves all summer long. True to its name and tenacious to boot, ‘Blue Hobbit’s diminutive bearing can be easily tucked into tight spots such as containers, between steps or atop stone walls.

Blooms July–September

Size: 8" – 12" high x 10" – 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

A snowy white multitude of plump conical flower heads perch atop pointed, widely spaced silver bracts. Leafy multibranching stems, pearly hued and steadfast, bolster the luminous blooms, while arising from an attractive dark green basal rosette defined by serrated leatherlike leaves and red-tinted petioles. Pair ‘Silver Salentino’ with Eryngium ‘Blue Glitter’ for a classic look.

Blooms July – September.

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 15" – 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

An interesting combination of the prehistoric and the refined, this evergreen Eryngium is known for its large-coned, luminous flowers. Linear leaves emerge from a basal rosette with widely spaced spines along their margins. A dramatic collar of upturned, unequal steely green bracts, some reaching the striking breadth of 5 to 6 in. across, serves up central, sea-green flower heads reminiscent of a Protea. Ideal for dried arrangements, this exotic Mexican perennial demands a warm, sunny site with well drained, fertile soil. Give it a blue pot on the patio or another prominent location to bring its remarkable show in-to full view.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 2-1/2' – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Eryngium</i> ‘Sapphire Blue’

Distinguished from other Sea Hollies by the intense, steel-blue hue infusing its branched stems, upper leaves, and teasel-shaped flowers, ‘Sapphire Blue’ features huge blossoms nestled in dramatic collarlike bracts. With a stance that’s angular yet erect, this sturdy perennial makes a striking counterpoint to the downy white softness of Salvia argentea. (pp#11,088)

Blooms July – August.

Size: 2-1/4' high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

<i>Eryngium variifolium</i>

The Moroccan Sea Holly is as valuable for its unusual dark and evergreen marbled foliage as for its steel blue flowers set on spiny, silvery bracts atop thick, erect silver-blue stems. Smaller than other Eryngiums, Eryngium variifolium is well suited for an up-front position in the border, in a rock garden or in a container.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 18" high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

Smelling like a carrot, looking a bit like a Yucca and once used by pioneers and Native Americans as an antidote to rattlesnake venom, this American tall grass prairie dweller brandishes bold bluish green lax rosettes. Characterized by parallel veins, bristly edges and a glaucous finish, the 3 ft. long sword-shaped leaves launch an architectural wonder of tightset thistle-style greenish white spheres and pointed ivory bracts housed within branched clusters on smooth stiff stems. A low maintenance perennial that provides fantastic winter interest, Rattlesnake Master obliges dry rocky soil and can be planted amid softer textured grasses such as Eragrostis chloromelas or Pennisetum spathiolatum.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Stylish gleaming green leaves–thick, toothed and tattooed with prominent ivory-colored veins–uphold a fantastic architecture of staunch angular branched stems and extra large teasel-like flowers bathed in galvanizing bright blue hues. Brandishing long lasting late season blooms that honeybees cherish, ‘Jos Eijking’ is best suited for the front of an uncrowded bed, where its extraordinary bearing beguiles any visitor, even in wintertime.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 2' 0" high x 18" wide.

Hardy to zone 5.

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Saturday Strolls & Plant Chats 2018!


Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Achillea 'Hella Glashoff'

Amazing Achilleas, Invigorate your summer plantings!

Amazing Achilleas…. These sturdy, dependable perennials produce small indivdual blooms that populate broad, flat flower heads, lending welcome horizontal elements to any garden bed. Ideal for bouquets, fresh or dried, the long-lasting blossoms range in color from alabaster to soft yellow and gold, as well as terracotta, pink and sassy red. Cut back their flowers in midsummer and enjoy a fall encore! Spicy scented, attractive fern-like green or gray-tinged foliage cloaks their strong straight stems. Slowly spreading and somewhat drought tolerant, Yarrow seem to thrive on neglect. They can handle low soil fertility plus coastal wind and salt spray. Be sure to check out our diverse on-line Achillea selections!

Invigorate your summer plantings.… A few simple maintenance techniques will help plants appear fresh throughout the upcoming dog days of summer. The addition of a chipped bark mulch or well-rotted compost, applied as a top-dressing, not only reduces water requirements, but generally makes it easier for plants to maintain perky looking leaves and vigorous habits. A July or early August trimming of long-blooming perennials, such as Nepetas and most Geraniums ensures myriad flowers that will keep on coming ‘til the first frost. Featured in this newsletter, you’ll find the fabulous plants that caught my eye as Boobah and I took our morning walk through the nursery and adjacent display borders this past week. Hopefully, you’ll have room to ensconce several of them in a well-traveled spot. Happy Digging!

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