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Eryngium (Sea Holly, Rattlesnake Master)

More Information About Eryngium

The genus Eryngium contains around 250 species with a worldwide distribution. Although you might never guess based on its appearance, Eryngium is related to the carrot (family Apiaceae).

The common name, sea holly, refers to Eryngium maritinum, a coastal species whose leaves are holly-shaped. While there are many annuals and biennials in the genus Eryngium, we have chosen primarily the longer-lived species which are prized for their interesting foliage and alien-like flowers.

Although beautiful, eryngium are not friendly plants. The leaves, bracts and flower petals are all covered with spines. If you are brave enough to cut one, eryngium flowers look wonderful in a vase. Eryngium prefers full sun and a warm site. Most of the eryngium species we offer require dry, well-drained planting sites. Eryngium resent being disturbed once established, so try not to cultivate the soil too close to them.