Placed second in the 2018 Chelsea Plant of the Year competition was a new and highly prolific sea holly: Eryngium ‘Blue Waves’. This is an outstanding new variety, distinct in its huge umbels (flower heads) and the repeated waves of blooms that it produces from June onwards.
This is an open-pollinated seedling, grown from seed collected in 2002 from a plant of Eryngium bourgatii growing near a plant of E. alpinum ‘Superbum’ at Dove Cottage Nursery in West Yorkshire. Eleven seeds germinated and this one stood out for its strong, upright, branched stems carrying a cone-like flower head with large bracts surrounded by number of smaller flower heads. The central cone, the bracts and the stem are all a strong vivid blue.
‘Blue Waves’ reaches about 50cm in height, does not need staking, is popular with pollinators, makes a good cut flower, fresh or dried, and the flowers can also be left in place for winter effect. Easily grown in any reasonable soil in full sun, this is a hardy and long-lived plant.
Eryngium ‘Blue Waves’ is available from Wisley Plant Centre, Hillier Garden Centres and by mail order from the Burford Garden Company.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS