– Sea Holly.
About 2 feet.
Flowers in several shades of metallic blue, in
July and August.
A most distinct and beautiful tribe, with prickly
foliage, chiefly of a whitish or glaucous grey,
and veined, and with teasel-shaped flowers. The
flower-stems and the flowers themselves are of
an indescribable blue, which the word “metallic”
does small justice to.
Eryngium maritimum is the wild British species,
growing luxuriantly on sandy beaches on some parts
of the coast. Transplanted into garden soil, it
grows well enough, but the flowers lose the extraordinary
vividness and the variety of the tones of blue
which they had on the sea-banks.
Other sorts are Eryngium planum (small flowered,
easily grown), Eryngium Oliverianum (large and
early), Eryngium amethystinum. Eryngium giganteum,
the Ivory Thistle, has very pale silvery stems
and flowers and grows to a height of four feet.
The flowers of the Eryngiums may be dried and
kept through the winter. Plants should be put
out in February or March in good garden soil in
an open sunny position and treated as border perennials.
See also : Sea