Eyngium (Sea Holly), was used in the 18th century as a love potion.
In folk medicine it was also used as a diuretic, a stimulant, and an appetizer owing to its essential oils, and bioactive compounds.
These days, it’s more likely to be used as a pollinator, as it attracts butterflies and bees, or as a centre piece to a dried flower arrangement.
Picture one shows Eryngium planum – a Central European species perennial with bright blue flowers, which likes a well-drained soil and full sun.
Picture two shows Eryngium giganteum ‘Silver Ghost’ – large cone shaped flowers on this biennial Sea Holly with silvery bracts. The Silver Ghost is used in dried flower arrangements to great effect.
Picture three shows Eryngium pandanifolium, which is an imposing Central/Southern American species with rosettes of spiky blue/green evergreen leaves and striking tall branches covered with small white flowers. Prefers even moisture and a well drained soil.
Picture four shows Eryngium ebracteatum – a tall and airy perennial with slender evergreen grey foliage and upright wiry stems covered in small red buttons of flowers. Likes an occasional water and well drained soil.
Thanks to Imogen Checketts from Le Jardin Champêtre for the photos.