July 2007 Plant Profile: Eryngium ‘Sapphire Blue’ (Blue Sea Holly)

The sea hollies put on quite a show every June and July and this selection, by far, has been one of the most outstanding ever introduced to the Pacific Northwest. While many Eryngiums sulk and flower poorly in our mild and often wet Pacific Northwest conditions, ‘Sapphire Blue’ not only holds up under these conditions, it actually flowers prolifically in full blazing sun and dryish conditions once it is established making it quite drought tolerant and relatively carefree. The seedheads maintain their shape making them an exceptional cut flower (fresh or dried) for arrangements. Eryngiums are best planted where they will get full sun and well drained soil. Much like most members of this family, they resent transplanting once established because of a long tap root that develops. They hold up their stems pretty well, but when grown in richer soils, they might benefit from a little support to prevent the spikey stems from flopping.

Family: Apiaceae
Origin: Garden Origin
Height: 2.5 ft.
Spread: 2 ft.
Bloom Time: June/July
Bloom Color: Silver and later a steely grey blue
Sun: Full Sun
Water: Medium-low moisture, well drained soil