Eryngium - Sea Holly

Eryngium are a wonderful thistle like plant commonly called, sea holly. A number of species and cultivars are available for sale in the UK, with some such as Eryngium Jade Frost providing variety with their creamy edged foliage adding extra colour to the garden.

Characterised by electric blue cone like flowers and 'prickly' foliage Sea Hollies can reach up to 1m depending on species and cultivar. E. bourgatii will reach around .5m, while E. x oliverianum will reach around 1m. If you are looking for a low growing species then Eryngium bourgatii 'blue hobbit' is it, reaching only .3m (12 inches), lovely metallic blue flowers.

E. agavifolium is a spectacular species from argentina, green coloured flowers and rarely seen in the UK

Growing and Care

Although not fussy about soil, drainage is the key with growing these plants. Eryngium do not like wet feet, so any possibility of prolonged wet or waterlogged conditions rules them out. They do not need much in the way of fertilisers, although we do water ours in spring with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.


All eryngiums can be divided from larger clumps during early spring, seeds can be sown to a cold frame in late winter.

So to summarise, a well drained soil and a sunny position, spent flower heads can be removed or in our case we leave them over winter for a little 'added interest'.

Eryngium or Sea Holly are available for sale from the following nurseries

NORTHBROOK NURSERY phone: 01202695256
47 Northbrook Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 8HD
Eryngium Jade Frost - Small nursery selling unusual perennials for your garden. Ring for appt.

SPECIAL PLANTS phone: 01225 891686
Greenways Lane, Cold Ashton, Chippenham, Wilts SN14 8LA
Includes: Eryngium bourgatii, Eryngium ebracteatum, Eryngium giganteum 'Silver Ghost'

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