Eryngiums – also known as sea hollies – have become increasingly popular in prairie style plantings, in traditional borders, in dry gardens and even in containers.
They’ve also been increasingly appreciated as cut flowers, both fresh and dried, and a new cut flower series from the Netherlands is expanding their reach.
The Magical Series, six of which are available in Britain for the first time this year, is made up of 16 varieties that cover all the main eryngium types.
This is a little unusual: a series usually comprises a number of varieties which are more or less identical but varying in just one feature, usually flower colour. The varieties in this series are similar only in that they’re developed for cutting and that they’re raised by Kolster BV in The Netherlands.
The first, and most widely available so far, is Magical Blue Lagoon ('Kolmblula'). Peter Kolster, of Kolster BV who developed it, explained: “Magical Blue Lagoon was chosen out in a field of our Eryngium alpinum seedlings in 2008. All the E. alpinum seedlings died within two to three years, E. alpinum types are usually weak plants, but this one was still there proud and strong with a lot of flowers, so we choose it and propagated it. It’s still one of our best.
“At the moment we hope to find a good white with the characteristics of Magical Blue Lagoon. Next to that we’re working on varieties that have flowers like a Sanguisorba.
“What we want is healthy plants, especially in the roots with a good flower production. A lot of eryngiums have root problems, especially in rainy conditions.” These are qualities that are just as important when eryngiums are grown in borders.
You can order individual varieties in the Magical Series from nurseries listed in the RHS Plant Finder.
Eryngium Magical Anita ('Kolmanita')
Eryngium Magical Blue Globe (‘Kolmgrobe’)
Eryngium Magical Blue Lagoon ('Kolmblula')
Eryngium Magical Silver ('Kolmagsil’)
Eryngium Magical Symphony ('Kolmasy')
Eryngium Magical White Falls (Kolmwhifal')
*Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author – which are not necessarily those of the RHS.