Tall spiky steel and silver flower heads of Eryngium add striking structure to floral arrangements.
A superb flower for drying, making it available most of the year, but late summer and early winter will see the Eryngium in its full glory. Shimmering steel blues and the ever popular etheral Miss Wilmott’s Ghost are a staple of the autumn and winter floral arrangement.
Eryngium is a genus of the family Apiaceae with over 200 species, both perennial and annual.
Commonly known as Sea Holly, the flowers are clustered in a dome shape surrounded by spiny bracts. These bracts are often coloured in a striking steel blue, but some are very pale green or white.
Generally planted at the back or centre of the flower border, Eryngiums can reach a height of over 1m depending on the variety, although some new dwarf cultivars, such as Blue Hobbit which grow to only 20cm are now available.
Eryngiums grow easily from seed and can self sow quite readily, especially in gritty, free draining soil.
They can also be bought as potted plants throughout the year or more economically as bare roots for autumn planting.
A particular favourite of ours is Eryngium Donard, with delicate large heads of silvery bracts which look stunning covered in frost during the winter.
Eryngiums prefer full sun and will grow best in well drained to dry soil. Suited to the back or centre of the border, they may need staking (we just use twigs inserted around the plant). Large mature plants should be lifted and divided in the spring.
Most Eryngiums will flower in July and August but many still flower well into October. The flowers are ideal for drying and make a great contribution to Christmas flower arrangements.
Leave flower heads on the plant over winter to provide food for birds and add interesting structure to the winter garden.
Crocus – Pot grown plants supplied most of the year.
Hayloft Plants – Buy Eryngium as bare root plants for easy autumn planting.
Plant world seeds – Some wonderful are rare varieties of Eryngium from seed.
Thompson & Morgan – A good range of Eryngium varieties from seed.
Plants of distinction – Compact Eryngium Blue Hobbit.
J Parker Wholesale Ltd – Planting a large area or for the commercial grower.