Alpine 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.
Evoking images of ornate Elizabethan ruffs and flaunting an unsurpassed beauty, this stalwart subalpine European native has been continually cultivated since the 1500s. Wildly popular among bees, butterflies and florists, the dense cone-shaped gunmetal-blue flower heads reside on feathery, soft-to-the-touch collars, each composed of 12 to 18 finely divided, upward curving silver-blue bracts. Stout cerulean-hued stalks with upper, 3-lobed bluish-green leaves elevate the sensational display, while an attractive, green basal rosette of toothed, heart-shaped foliage is sustained by a large taproot that detests being disturbed.
Size: 18" – 2-1/2' high x 18" – 2-1/2' wide.
Hardy to zone 5.
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Other selections in this genus:
- Eryngium amethystinum
- Eryngium ‘Big Blue’
- Eryngium bourgatii
- Eryngium planum ‘Blaukappe’
- Eryngium planum ‘Blue Glitter’
- Eryngium planum ‘Blue Hobbit’
- Eryngium planum ‘Silver Salentino’
- Eryngium planum ‘White Glitter’
- Eryngium proteiflorum
- Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’
- Eryngium variifolium
- Eryngium yuccifolium
- Eryngium x zabelii ‘Jos Eijking’