Introducing...

Sea holly

Botanical name: Eryngium

These architectural, spiny, almost sculptural perennials, some looking superficially like thistles, can make a dramatic statement in a summer border. Let them rise above low-growing plants, or mingle them among roses and taller perennials to provide a contrast in form and texture.

Looks

Upright, branching stems bear greenish-white or blue flowers gathered into a cone surrounded by a ruff of spiny bracts. In some, the upper part of the plant is suffused with metallic blue.

Likes

Most like very free-draining soil, some even thriving in poor, dry soil, in sun.

Dislikes

Very fertile, overly rich soils are unsuitable, as is a position in shade.

Did you know?

The flowers are long-lasting and can be cut and dried for use in winter arrangements.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.