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Eryngium bourgatii
at Digging Dog

Eryngium bourgatii

photo: Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


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 bourgatii full sun

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.

Eryngium bourgatii (P-0847)
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Other selections in this genus

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Current Staff’s Favorite Plant

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Our favorite plant this week: We love Astrantia major 'Lars' for it's ornate, richly colored blooms, that look great in an arrangement, either fresh or dried. Celebrating bright and cheerful colors, crowns of maroon bracts deliver gorgeous cherry red floral mounds with lighter pink centers. ĎLarsís blooms loll high above broad deep green lobed leaves on slender stems. This energetic Danish cultivar looks a bit like an overly exuberant Italian Flat Parsley and makes an unparalleled up-front cottage-style filler that is easy to care for.

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