Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Eryngium venustum is my favorite plant in the garden, this week…


There are so many huge and intricate spider webs all over the garden right now; I figured what better plant to feature this week than one that looks like a web...

Eryngium venustum also quite dangerous, with both vertical and horizontal spikes closely spaced on each leaf.

This is one of those plants I simply can’t get enough of, my current count is 7 but I’d be happy with a few more. The dried flowers are quite striking so I’ll leave them in place, last Christmas I was feeling crafty so I cut them off, painted them silver, and used them for tiny stars on a chartreuse Monterey cypress.

And since the Annie’s description on plantlust.com says “It even reseeds a tad, so you'll get a few free plants down the road!” that should mean tiny plant babies in my future.

Older plants (which I failed to take a picture of) tend to bulk up and loose that single rosette look. I’ve not been brave enough to try and divide them; I’d rather have a thicket than dead plants.

The stats:
  • also known as Mexican Sea Holly,
  • hardy in USDA zones 6-10
  • eventual size slightly over 1ft wide x 2ft tall (including bloom spike, plant itself is 6-8” tall)
  • likes full to part sun (it can be easily shaded out by surrounding plants, I lost one this way)
  • drought tolerant

More from the Annie’s description: “Perhaps you need something strange & otherworldly for your low water garden? Well, look no further than this petite Mexican perennial with spacey, spiky leaves & starry silver thistle-like flowers. It is a prickly plant, but attractively so & we don't need all of our plants to be softly pretty, do we? Leaves are very boldly serrated & make a striking pattern even before the flowering stems arise. It's super easy to grow & very tough, needing very little water & surviving in hot, hot sun.

Far Reaches Farm notes “The flowers dry well and finches go for the seeds. The plant in general is scorned by deer.” What’s not to love?

Since foliage is the main draw for this eryngium I'm also submitting it for Pam's foliage follow-up meme today. Click over to her blog for a list of other bloggers participating. And don't forget to tell us all about your favorite plant in the garden this week…

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

23 comments:

  1. I think I love it. I say "think" because some of the Eryngium I have smell really unpleasant when in bloom -- does this one?

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    1. Oh I forgot all about that! Yes actually there is a bit of an odor. This is the first time I've noticed an eryngium bloom smelling and I'm sure it was because I've got a couple good size clumps that sent up a lot of blooms. It was only noticeable during the late afternoon early evening and only when you were right next to them. It didn't travel. It certainly won't stop me from planting more...just maybe not right next to the patio table.

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  2. That's one plant I must have. I've never seen it for sale anywhere. However, I did just buy an Eryngium horridum. Not as striking but still a score for me.

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    1. Oh that's a good score! I haven't seen Eryngium horridum for sale around here, that I remember. Are you still considering a trip up to Portland? I could see if Xera has any, or then again you might try Annie's.

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  3. That's quite pretty -- and perfect, as you say, for a Halloween post.

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    1. Oh I think I have something even better for Halloween, this is just a warm-up!

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  4. Thart Eryngium venustum is quite the plant...very interesting and yes...dangerous!

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    1. I carried the first one I bought around a plant sale for about an hour...it kept poking me in the arm.

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  5. I had to chuckle when I read Annie's comment: "..we don't need all of our plants to be softly pretty...". You know what I mean. This shows up so well against a dark mulch...I'm plotting places to put some already.

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    1. She is all about the softly pretty isn't she? Glad she can come over to the dark side as well.

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  6. A beautiful plant that just screams danger! Want to give this one a try little soccer player?

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    1. Oh I like the way you think!!!

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    2. P.S. my favorite plant post is here: http://outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2013/10/callicarpa-profusion-my-favorte-plant.html

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  7. Love it! From afar it looks so tactile but come closer.... Looks great as a single rosette

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    1. I really should have bothered to get a photo of it bulking up too...silly me!

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  8. That is a new eryngium for me ... never seen it before. I will go well in my poison garden. Even if it is not poisonous, it looks the part.
    Ray

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  9. Is it weird that this does look soft to me? It's so nicely ferny for being pokey. It's perfect!

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    1. Not at all. Had my hands not suffered a million tiny stabs every-time I reach in to pluck a dead leaf I too might make that mistake.

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  10. What interesting symmetrical foliage. I really wanted to grow Eryngiums from seed this year, and did get a plant finally. My favorite plant pick of the week is Anemone nemorosa.

    http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2013/10/favorite-plant-pick-of-week-october-19.html

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    1. Symmetrical is a great word to describe it. Off to check out your favorite...

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  11. It actually looks better (flatter and tighter) if grown on the dry side in full sun.

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    1. Yes, I agree. Too much shade seems to be the death of it.

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