Saturday, 2 January 2016

Eryngium proteiflorum

Eryngium proteiflorum
This is arguably the biggest and best of the Latin American Eryngium with bold Aloe or bromeliad-like rosettes of foliage, but unlike the better-known ones, it also has impressive flower heads. The whole plant has an unusual pale pearly green hue with the actual flowers touched with purple. The leaves are not unpleasantly spiny which makes it a good prospect for growing in a big terracotta pot and moving it about the garden, or under cover in winter, as required.
Eryngium proteiflorum
Sadly it is also one of the less hardy species and it is usually recommended for the cold greenhouse, but I've had comments recently from growers as far north as Birmingham that it is doing well unprotected outside - courtesy no doubt of climate change. The fact that it tends to flower in midwinter doesn't help so I would recommend shelter and full sun. A well-drained but not dry, fertile soil is best. Potentially a spectacular 'hardy exotic' that should be much more widely grown.
1 year old plants in 3L pots, flowering for the first time ~ £8




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