Sea holly is an evergreen herbaceous perennial and a member of the carrot family (Apiaceae) that includes Queen Anne’ lace, dill, and parsley. It is a native to Europe where it grows on the sandy shores of the coastlines. The blue-green leaves are stiff and leather. They are two to four inches long and three lobed with large spiny teeth. In summer, pale blue flower heads appear that are burr-like and surrounded by a few broad, silvery bracts. The roots are very long and plants resent being transplanted but are very drought tolerant once established. The genus name, Eryngium,is from the from the ancient Greek word ἠρύγγιον (ērúngion), meaning sea holly. The specific epithet, maritimum, is the Latin word meaning of the sea, referring to the favored habitat of the plant.

Type: Evergreen herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Pale blue flowerheads with silvery bracts in summer

Size: 12-24” H x 12-24” W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Light, sandy, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Slugs

Propagation: Seed sown immediately upon ripening; division in early spring or autumn; root cuttings in autumn or winter

Companion Plants: Red valerian (Centranthus rubr), seaside aster (Erigeron glaucus), perennial pea (Lathyrus latifolius), obedient plant (Physotegia virginiana)

By Karen