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Eryngium proteiflorum
at Digging Dog

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.

Eryngium proteiflorum full sun

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.

Eryngium proteiflorum (P-1179)
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