Sea holly (Eryngium planum) is a fashionable cut flower with its steel-blue pincushion blooms on stems up to 120cm high. The long-lasting flowers are superb in bouquets and vase arrangements. See the gorgeous bouquets here – the top wedding bouquet, which features over at Green Wedding Shoes, is predominantly green and white, with a subtle addition of purple eryngium. The boutonnieres (photo from the beautiful Rock My Wedding website) include olive leaves, lavender, statice and eryngium.
Eryngium is a hardy perennial, tolerant of salt winds and of poor soil so long as it’s free-draining. In fact, if the soil is overly fertile, the flowers tend to sprawl.
The thistle-like flowers appear in late summer/autumn for several months.
Seeds can be sown in trays now, but chill them in the fridge for 10-14 days before sowing to aid germination.