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Plantidote of the Day 2012-07-24

twig's picture

sea holly

Eryngium amethystinum

Sea holly, amethyst eryngium

It took more than a year for this sea holly to bloom. I bought the root online, planted it, and stared it for months, while it did ... nothing. It was looking like time to throw in the trowel. But then out of nowhere, leaves!! Followed by bristly little flowers -- lots and lots of flowers -- in the most delicious shade of blue. And there are other shades of blue available.

Sea holly likes full sun, and needs very little water. In the right environment, it can grow to heights of 6 feet. It's best in Zones 4 through 8, but it seems to be thriving here in Zone 10, so who knows? The only downside to this plant is pretty obvious -- the stickers, thorns, whatever you call them. These are not soft, flexible stickers -- they stab you like little needles and there are dozens of them. Wear gloves!


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