Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eryngium agavafolium

We met at my first Hardy Plant Society sale, 3 years ago. It was shopping paradise: a huge room full of plants from favorite nurseries and nurseries I had never heard of. I spotted him from across the aisle – his glossy leaves and sharp spines calling out to me. I had to fight my way through the shopping masses, praying the whole way that a hand would not reach out and take him from me. I was in luck.

He was even better close up. All those spikes, evergreen and zone 7! How much better could it get!? As I recall they had 4 plants, I bought 3. What was I thinking? How could I walk away and leave one behind?

This is another one of those Xera plants that I seem to gravitate towards. Their tags are even fun, here’s the tag info from the Eryngium agavafolium:

Eryngium agavafolium Zn7a (0º to 5ºF) Apiaceae
Multiple, glossy, sexy rosettes with dramatic spines....Yeowrrrrrr.. In midsummer robust spikes of dark green handsome, rounded clover-like flowers (to 30" tall.) Full sun and regular soil with occasional summer water. Impressive evergreen perennial for the front of a border, mixes well with airy flowers. Fantastic in a dry rockery planting with boulders, rocks. What do you call a gardener with multiple sexy rosettes? A HAPPY Gardener.

I planted all 3 in our front yard, I don’t know what happened but within the year they grew and multiplied and became a true tangled mass of “multiple sexy rosettes”. They were threatening to eat the mailman. I had to do something; they couldn’t be allowed to get any bigger and they were starting to look rather ragged. It hurt, but I dug them up and attempted to divide them, I managed to save 3 plants. (that's them below on the bottom left, a year after planting as they were starting to get really big)

They have rewarded me with much tamer growth and look fabulous year round. I highly recommend the purchase if you are lucky enough to find this plant; just leave some for me, okay?

Folks within driving distance of Portland – this weekend is the Hardy Plant Society Sale at the Expo center. Go! You won’t regret it.


  1. I blew that sale off for years until I finally went two years ago. What a fool I was for resisting. Can't wait for this weekend.

  2. OMG - Meagan did you go? It was madness! My parents were here for the weekend and I wasn't sure they were going to make it through. I can't wait to post and compare notes. It was insane. Gives me huge hope for the future to see all those people out supporting our local nurseries!

  3. AnonymousJuly 13, 2016

    how do you keep your gravel weed free?


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