Eryngium variifolium

MOROCCAN SEA HOLLY

$9.50

Out of stock

Description

Eryngium variifolium

MOROCCAN SEA HOLLY

I never thought I would love something that has prickles and could be mistaken for a thistle.
But Eryngium variifolium, Moroccan Sea Holly breaks all the rules, and anyway no dry garden is complete without as many Eryngiums as possible.  

Silver blue cones and handsome marbled foliage

Every part of Eryngium variifolium, Moroccan Sea Holly is striking.
From the haze of silver-steel-blue-grey cones, to the rosette of leaves marbled with silver – it is all handsome and architectural. 
(Scroll down to “Growing” section for plant details, how / where to grow) 

Tough as old boots in the dry garden

Eryngiums revel in the hottest, driest, most exposed, sunniest position you have.
And Eryngium variifolium does come from Morocco after all.

Eryngiums invented “Drought Hardy”

Eryngiums have very low water needs.
They accept dry conditions as normal, and are very drought resistant.
In fact if you give them too much water they will probably turn up their toes.
They are right up there with Sedums as being highly recommended and water-wise for water conscious gardeners.

Superb cut flowers both fresh and dried

Eryngiums can be compared to Everlastings in texture, as they are form to the touch.
So they make extremely long lasting vase flowers when they are cut fresh.
And for dried arrangements you just hang them upside down until fully dry, and they retain their marvellous steely-blue colours.   

Growing: Eryngium variifolium
MOROCCAN SEA HOLLY

Height with flowers: Big, airy summer flower heads come up in clouds to 40cm approx..
Width: Evergreen clump of handsome foliage to a diameter of approx. 30cm.
Position: Eryngiums revel in the hottest, driest, most exposed, windiest and sunniest position you have. Eryngium variifolium does come from Morocco after all.
It will tolerate just a little shade, as long as it is well aired. But under no circumstances should it be damp shade.
Eryngium are ideal for coastal and seaside gardens, where they tolerate salt spray well.

Eryngiums invented “Drought Hardy”

Soil: Eryngiums adore anything that drains perfectly.
So sandy, rocky, gravel soils are just their thing.
They will certainly also thrive in average garden loam, as long as they are not overwatered. But kiss them goodbye in heavy, wet, or clay soils.
They are not a bit fussy about soil pH, and so will live happily in soils on either the acid or the alkaline (lime) side of neutral.
And it is a mistake to over fertilize them, as they grow and flower best when kept on lean rations.
Water-wise: Eryngiums have very low water needs. They accept dry conditions as normal, and are very drought resistant. In fact if you give them too much water they will probably turn up their toes.
Frost: Eryngiums are bomb proof in frost, and can blissfully ignore severe frost down to well below -20C.

Handsome & architectural

Growth: Evergreen perennial that remains all year as a ground hugging rosette of marbled silver and olive leaves.
Then in the summer it erupts up with clouds of silver-grey-blue cones, on large branching heads. Magic.
Fragrance: None, but Eryngiums have so many other highly desirable qualities we can forgive one little oversight.
Beneficial for wildlife: Bees and other useful pollinators work them very happily for abundant pollen and nectar, oblivious to any prickles.
Low Care: Eryngiums are very low maintenance, with the only work being to cut the finished flower branches down at the end of autumn, though many like to leave the dried seed heads for finches and other small seed eating birds over winter. The dried branches of seed heads certainly look very attractive rimmed with frost.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: I dare the pests to take a bite and get a mouthful of prickles. Sadly they are too smart.
Origin: Hot, dry and desert places in northern Africa, particularly in Morocco.

 

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