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Eryngium alpinum (Alpine Sea Holly)

Alpine Sea Holly, Alpine Eryngo

Eryngium alpinum, Alpine Sea Holly, Alpine Eryngo, Blue flowers, Blue perennials
Eryngium alpinum, Alpine Sea Holly, Alpine Eryngo, Blue flowers, Blue perennials

Highly ornamental, Eryngium alpinum (Alpine Sea Holly) is an attractive upright perennial with basal rosettes of heart-shaped, deeply toothed, glossy leaves. From mid-summer to early fall, sturdy leafy stems, tinged with soft blue to steel blue, bear cone-shaped, thistle-like, purplish-blue flower heads. Each flower head is surrounded by intricately cut, feather-like, soft blue bracts. Attractive to bees and butterflies but deer resistant, this is a versatile plant, fitting well into the sunny border.

  • Grows in clumps of stiffly erect, branched stems up to 24-36 in. tall (60-90 cm) and 2 ft. wide (60 cm)
  • Performs best in full sun in fairly dry, poor to moderately fertile well-drained soils. Tolerates light shade, poor soils, drought and salt.
  • Excellent choice for gravel gardens, cottage gardens and coastal gardens. May be planted as a single specimen or in groupings. Perfect for cut or dried flower arrangements too!
  • Although you can cut back flower stems after flowering the seedheads are a very attractive feature so are usually left over winter
  • Watch for leaf and bud eelworms, powdery mildew and root rot.
  • Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame as soon as seed is ripe
  • Native to the Balkans

Learn How To Plant, Care, and Grow Spectacular Sea Holly (Eryngium)


Attractive, Sea Holly plants (Eryngium) are striking ornamental perennials grown for their arresting, thistle-like, silvery or blue tinted flower heads adorned with a ruff of showy bracts. Blooming in summer and sometimes into fall, they are exceptionally care-free plants if they are given a well-chosen site. Here are some basic rules that need to be followed to enjoy their splendid flowers.

Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 8
Heat Zones 6 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Apiaceae
Genus Eryngium
Common names Sea Holly
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt, Dry Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Eryngium leavenworthii (False Purple Thistle)
Eryngium x oliverianum (Oliver Sea Holly)
Eryngium planum ‘Blue Cap’ (Flat Sea Holly)
Eryngium alpinum ‘Blue Star’ (Alpine Sea Holly)
Eryngium x tripartitum (Tripartite Sea Holly)
Eryngium amethystinum (Amethyst Sea Holly)

Recommended Companion Plants

Euonymus planipes (Spindle Tree)
Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Rosea’ (Mountain Fleece)
Stipa tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass)
Allium sphaerocephalon (Drumstick Allium)

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Eryngium (Sea Holly)
Eryngium bourgatii (Mediterranean Sea Holly)
Eryngium planum (Flat Sea Holly)
Learn How To Plant, Care, and Grow Spectacular Sea Holly (Eryngium)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 2 - 8
Heat Zones 6 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Apiaceae
Genus Eryngium
Common names Sea Holly
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 24" (60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Salt, Dry Soil
Attracts Bees, Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Eryngium (Sea Holly)
Not sure which Eryngium (Sea Holly) to pick?
Compare Now

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