My offering for In a Vase on Monday is an eryngium. You are probably more familiar with the metallic blue prickly sea holly and its relatives which all bloom in summer. This one is the giant sea holly, Eryngium pandanifolium ‘Physic Purple’. I have grown Eryngium pandanifolium before in my dry gravel garden for its dramatic rosettes of spiky leaves and masses of tall stems with clusters of little egg -shaped, dove- coloured flowers. This one, Eryngium pandanifolium ‘Chelsea Purple’ was new to my garden last year and is blooming for the first time. What has surprised me is how late the flowers appear. It was looking fabulous until the snow on Friday broke its stem. I am always looking for new and unusual candidates for my winter garden so if this is going to make a habit of blooming so late it will certainly find a place there.
This is a dramatic plant and as you see the stem is large, but as the plant matures it will get much bigger and more imposing and the branching flower stems will reach 7 feet. It was found in Chelsea Physic Garden by Christopher Lloyd and that along with the purple colour of the flowers gave it its name. He felt that this is a plant with star quality.
So I have no carefully arranged vase today, I just plonked the stem in a large white jug. I really think this is a stand -alone plant. I shall be interested to see how long it lasts in water.
And here is the spiky foliage sitting in the snow on Friday. The leaves are narrow, serrated and ever-green.
Do visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, she never lacks inspiration to find something to interest us in her Monday vases.