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Talkback: Growing eryngiums

Oh, such lovely pictures,James. I too love eryngiums and have just bought a potful of seedlings of Eryngium varifolium from the Botanic Garden in Bristol, which has given me five plants. No flowers this year as they are so small but the leaves have lovely markings. I saw eryngiums in lots of the rooms at Hidcote Manor recently and they looked particularly fetching in the rockery of Cotswold sandstone.


  • Excuse my ignorance but are "teasles" in the eryngium family and if so, which of them is best for providing seeds for birds, please? i have teasle seeds, when and how to sew?
  • Tinkerbell, you want to sow seeds of Dipsacus fullorum in April or May or buy a plant as they are biennial so the plants from last year can be bought. One plant will give you teasels forever in your garden, like forget-me-nots and foxgloves! The bees love the flowers and the goldfinches love the seeds so you do not deadhead, hence teasels forever. But they are statuesque plants in themselves like eryngiums are.
  • Hi James - all!
    IMHO, the very best eryngium is 'Jade Frost' and best yet - it seem they come true from seed - I have some butter colored seedlings from some 'Jade Frost' seed I collected last fall - very ghostly looking babies. And the flower spikes are not blue like many, but a metallic purple that is just Fab!
  • I love the pic of the field of Eryngiums! Stunning. I've just bought an E. Blue Hobbit and it's small and cute and gorgeously coloured.
  • donutsmrs-the Sea Holly, Eryngium variifolium does not grow very tall, hardly above 40cm and is blue and very lovely. It would thrive against your house wall if it gets sun as it is not very hardy.
  • Thank you happymarion thats really good to know and after you saying that I now know exactly where to put one. You are so good you should be on gardeners world.
  • Gracious, donutsmrs-let's leave it to the youngsters! But I am happy to pull out nuggets from my vast store of tips accumulated over my many years of gardening because I do not think knowledge is private property. In short, I'm an inveterate teacher.
  • I have just found at a small Plant Fair eringium olivarium, which I understand is very blue. Small at the moment, I am hopeful for wonders next summer
  • I too love eryngiums, they are one of the limmited number of plants that are happy in my sandy front garden facing the Irish Sea. I have eight different varieties including a recently purchased Eryngium yuccifolium, so I will have to see if this survives. I find the spiky leaved varieties look happier than the softer leaved ones in my sandy soil.
  • I planted 2 eryngiums last year (not sure of the variety) and didn't stake them, so this year they have grown well but are lying horizontal in my garden. Should they be tied to supports and should I cut them back in the hope that they will grow upwards next year?
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