The name may come form the Greek word ‘ errrugggarein’ meaning ‘beard of the goat’. Erygium is hairless and usually has spiny leaves, and dome shaped umbels of flowers resembling those of thistles, and whorl of spiny basal bracts. The common names include Sea-holly and Eryngo, the former typically being applied to coastal species.
The Sea holly is native to most European coastlines. It resembles a flowering thistle, in that its flowers is burrshaped, and metallic blue, rather than mauve.The colours range from silver though green to electric blue and purples. In Elizabethan times in England, these plants were believed to be a strong aphrodisiac. They are named in a speech by Flastaff “Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green-sleeves, hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes(sea-holly), let there come a tempest of provocation..”
-Falstaff, Act5, scene v, “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, William Shakespeare
- the colour range from silver through green to electric blues and purples
- very popular in bridal theme weddings
- the texture and shape add interest to arrangements and bouquets
- branched can be dried and use in permanent botanical bouquets