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.
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.
Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 3.
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Other selections in this genus:
- Eryngium alpinum
- 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 x zabelii ‘Jos Eijking’