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Eryngium bourgatii 'Picos Blue'

Sea holly

Reader rating

From 4 ratings

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Key information

Flower colour

Light green





Skill level


photo by Clive Nichols, copyright GAP Photos (65027)

Plant details

E. bourgatii, from Spain and the Pyrenees, has three first-rate cultivars, one of the best being 'Picos Blue'. It's very similar to the parent but is slightly bluer, larger and more robust, with the same beautiful spiny rosette of grey-green leaves with prominent white veins and pale green flowers. Good alternatives are 'Oxford Blue', which has been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society, and 'Picos Amethyst'. Like E. alpinum, It is wonderfully tactile and is best planted to the front of a border. Provide poor, free-draining soil, and ideally a position at the foot of a wall where the soil doesn't stay soaking wet over winter.

Family: Apiaceae

Genus: Eryngium

Species: bourgatii

Cultivar: Picos Blue

Flower colour: Light green

Foliage colour: Light green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 60cm

Spread: 30cm

Time to divide plants: April to May

Reader reviews


The blues of any of the various Eryngium plants make a lovely statement in the flower garden and is wonderful for attacting wildlife. Bees and butterflies visit the flowers in abundance and birds visit the seedheads.


how do you propagate sea holly


I was surprised ro read that this plant is "wonderfully tactile". If mine is anything to go by, it's tactile only if you enjoy grasping very sharp spikes. This really is like holly, unlike E. alpinum which looks sharp but has soft bracts.

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