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Sea Holly

Eryngium maritimum

 

We found this plant walking along the Formby coast in the North West of England in July 2008. It has a blue-green appearance with lots of spiny leaves and is quite attractive as a plant and likes to live it's existence in sandy soil on the upper shore.

Sea Holly is a coastal plant of much of Europe, but is not as common as it used to be and is considered to be endangered.

It might look like and be called a holly but is not a true holly belonging to the carrot and parsley family. Bees and butterflies like this plant and so did humans in the past. The roots where once used in sweets and has been mentioned in the Middle ages as an aphrodisiac.

Some people grow this plant in their own gardens and can be bought from plant nurseries, ideal for a well drained poor soil in a sunny location. Please do not pick it from the wild as all wild plants and flowers are protected.

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