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