October 2009 Plant Profile: Eryngium leavenworthii

Photo by Jennifer Youngman

Recommended by our own restoration ecologist, Kern Ewing, who saw this species at a restoration site in Texas, seed was obtained and sown as an experiment and transplanted into Bed 6 of the Soest Garden where it has thrived and looked absolutely spectacular as it began to do its thing. Considered an annual or short lived perennial; this striking sea holly flowers very late in the season producing a profusion of thistle-like silvery blooms that mature to a fluorescent violet pink. It is set off beautifully with the changing warm colors of autumn. It seems to have thrived in the heat of full sun, excellent drainage and minor competition amongst other perennials in the bed. Somewhat straggly in habit; this indicates that it’s growing in too rich of a soil.

Common Name: Leavenworth Eryngo
Location: Bed 6
Origin: South Central USA
Height: 15-30″
Spread: 15-20″
Bloom Time: Late Summer-Fall
Bloom Type/Color: Silver – violet/pink
Exposure: Full Sun
Water/Soil: Dryish soils , well drained in lean soil without too much organic matter.