Eryngium x oliverianum

Sea holly

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour






Skill level


photo by Lee Avison, copyright GAP Photos (262455)

Plant details

Sea hollies are striking plants for a summer border but only thrive where drainage is particularly good - they will not tolerate winter wet. E. x oliveranum is one of the most useful, having large vivid blue flowers with dark green, clearly veined leaves forming a loose rosette at the base of the plant. It survives in a wider range of soil types than many more difficult eryngiums, and can even cope with poor gravelly soil and heavier ground if it never becomes waterlogged. The flowers attract bees and other insects, and are good for cutting or drying. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Apiaceae

Genus: Eryngium

Species: x oliverianum

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Blue

Foliage colour: Blue-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist, Sandy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 90cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to divide plants: March to May

Flowering period: July to September

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