• Ecstatic for Eryngos

    I have no idea what eryngo means, beyond just a vernacular permutation of the botanical Eryngium.  But I do know what they are–fantastic garden plants.

    Who can’t help but love eryngos?  They boast bristly, pokey texture like nothing else can.  Despite the fact that in Zone 5 I’m on the short-end of the evolutionary stick (there are nearly 300 species in the genus with a diversity center in Central and South America), I keep trying, experimenting, and enjoying the survivors.

    Today I wanted to share with you my feelings about a recent addition to the garden, Eryngium planum ‘Blue Hobbit’.  Smart-looking and adorably dwarf, this eryngo sends up 10″ bloom stalks from a basal rosette of blue-tinted, lettuce-like leaves.  Petaloid bracts subtend a conical cluster of many ranked, stemless flowers which last for several days to a week.  The staying power of all the eryngos comes from those colored bracts, which last for many weeks thanks to their leaf-like cellular structure (kind of like hellebores).  I’m in love with the plant’s overall steely blue cast and the exceptionally coarse texture it contributes to the vignette.  I’ve got them paired with several sedums (including the blue-gray Sedum telephium ssp. ruprechtii ‘Hab Gray’) and underplanted with a mat of Thymus serpyllum ‘Magic Carpet’. 

    You can purchase ‘Blue Hobbit’ from Garden Crossings or ForestFarm.

    eryngium  eryngiumcombo

4 Responsesso far.

  1. Ken Druse says:

    I lost my favorite — Eryngium ‘Blau Kappa’, but in its stead, fifty seedlings that have turned out to be true and BLUE. These are the bluest, and a favorite of pollinators — half-dozen different bees, steel-blue wasps, black wasps, burnt orange wasps — all too busy to even notice me.

  2. kdnblog says:

    I’ve only seen pics of ‘Blaukappe’ but have never grown it. Your blue seedlings sound superb though! I second the observation regarding pollinators. The little wasps today, as they have for the last two weeks, swarmed the mass of eryngos.

  3. Maria Snow says:

    I’ve never grown Eryngium but they look beautiful! I live in Zone 5 too. How many different ones can I grow?

  4. kdnblog says:

    Hi Maria!

    Thanks for commenting. Surely you should try Eryngium yuccifolium, the rattlesnake master native to the eastern 2/3rds of North America. Very tough, durable, and long-lived. Great silvery color. There are other native eryngos, but this would be the most readily available. You could also try other cultivars of E. planum. Friends of mine grow a lovely cultivar called ‘Blue Glitter’ that looks nice. Ken Druse mentions ‘Blaukappe’ (Blue Cap) in his comment above. Though I’ve killed the first two I tried, ‘Jade Frost’ glows with creamy pink variegation that most prominently displays during cool nights (ie-spring and fall for best show). Enjoy eryngos!

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