I’m the Mardi Gras Gardener and I have an eryngium problem.

If you know me as a gardener, you know I have an obsession with eryngiums. Some of you even have witnessed a “clutch the pearls” moment where I’ve seen one in a garden or I’ve discovered another treasure to add to my collection! Once I graduated out of the Home Depot years of plant shopping, this genus became one of my favorites (it was part of my Holy Trinity) and my love for them has increased exponentially. You can always find me digging around in the “e” section of the perennials at any nursery hoping to find one I’ve never seen before!

I’ve been wanting to feature my collection on my blog for some time and I’ve been waiting for just the right time of the season.


Eryngium agavifolium

This Eryngium agavifolium was my first eryngium. It was gifted to me by The Lents Farmer about 5 years ago. Since then it was provided multiple offspring throughout my garden but it seems happiest in its original spot.


Eryngium agavifolium

This Eryngium lattifolium is my pride and joy. It checks off every box of weird, wacky and dangerous which are my favorite elements of a plant. At its peak it will hit about 7 feet tall! SWOON! A special thanks to Cistus Nursery for this bizarre and beautiful eryngium!


Eryngium aff. latifolium 

This Eryngium ‘Blue Sapphire’ is a scene stealer!


Eryngium ‘Blue Sapphire’


Eryngium ‘Blue Sapphire’

Can’t wait for this to put on some size. So pretty!


Eryngium tripartitum


Eryngium tripartitum

There’s always room for an eryngium!


Eryngium NoID but I think it may be Eryngium x zabelii ‘Jos Eijking’

Praise be! I thought I lost this one but as a wise man once said “Plant’s want to live”. This Eryngium maritimum is one of the most unique in my collection and I’m on the hunt for more! Oh those blue/green leaves!


Eryngium maritimum

If you are looking for an architectural plant, this Eryngium varifolium is for you! But watch out! It’s a feisty one!


Eryngium varifolium #1


Eryngium varifolium #2


Eryngium varifolium

This Eryngium p. lesseauxii’s home has turned into a shade garden so I’m happy for it’s single flower stalk this year. Eryngium’s don’t seem to like being moved so I bought another one for a more sunny location!


Eryngium p. lesseauxii


Eryngium p. lesseauxii

I have killed more Eryngium bourgatii’s than I care to remember. I finally splurged this spring and bought one in a gallon container and it looks like I may finally have one survive!


Eryngium bourgatii

I bought these two Eryngium “Big Blue” at the same time as the Eryngium bourgatii. Oddly enough they don’t seem very big or very blue but we will see how they mature.


Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ #1


Eryngium ‘Big Blue’ #2

Remember the “clutch the pearls” comment I made earlier? Well, at our semi-annual blogger swap this spring the wonderful Bonnie Lassie had brought a couple of Eryngium “Neptune’s Gold” – in gallon pots! I’ve killed more Eryngium ‘Neptune’s Gold” than I have Eryngium bourgatii so I was over the moon to see such large, healthy specimens! Thank you again, Allison! It is very happy!


Eryngium ‘Neptune’s Gold’

I have yet to have the pleasure of seeing this Eryngium proteiflorum flower. It’s in a bad spot but I’m hoping for the best. It’s beautiful anyway, right?


Eryngium proteiflorum 


Eryngium proteiflorum 

This little guy packs a big punch! If you plant Eryngium venustum, make sure you give it some space because it’s leaves are vicious.


Eryngium venustum


Eryngium venustum


Eryngium venustum

What a difference placement in your garden can make. I have had this Eryngium yuccifolium in my backyard in clay soil and partial sun for 4 years and it has always formed this perfectly well-behaved and today clump with 2-3 foot stalks.


Eryngium yuccafolium #1

Fast forward to last year and this one was planted in full sun with crappy soil and it skyrocketed into a gangly tower of goodness!

IMG_0571 2

Eryngium agavifolium #2


Eryngium yuccafolium

My Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’ is a victim of my cramscaping days and has to stretch for the light that it craves. After several years, it’s leaves have finally all reverted and lost all variegation. I’m not sure I’m ready to replace it.


Eryngium ‘Jade Frost’

A special thank you to Tamara at Chickadee Gardens for the seedling of Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’. Fingers crossed for its survival! I’m very excited to see Eryngium amethystinum mature but I think I’ll try to move it before it’s too late because it’s not getting enough sun.

Next up….Kniphofia madness!


13 thoughts on “I’m the Mardi Gras Gardener and I have an eryngium problem.

  1. When I began gardening with perennials in the early 1990s, the only Eryngiums sold by nurseries with wide offerings were E. planum and E. alpinum, or cultivars of those selected for blue-ness. I was surprised not to see either in your collection (which is cool and impressive). Lately, the interest in meadow/prairie planting has brought E. yuccifolium to the market, but the blue ones seem to have disappeared along with most of those wide-selection nurseries. You’ve revived my interest in them, so the hunt is on!


    • I almost did an “In memory of” section at the end of my blog for those eryngiums I’ve loved and lost! Both of the ones you mentioned did not survive for me and I’ve struggled finding replacements! Id very much like to add them back! Thank you for your comment! Happy hunting!


  2. Back when I grew eryngium as cut flower in 1986, there were only a few cultivars available, and almost no one had ever heard of them before. We grew something that looked like ‘Big Blue’, although I do not remember what it actually was. It was the only cultivar that we grew.


  3. Incredible! I usually bring them home from the nursery in bloom, because those are usually the only blooms I’ll ever see. I think most prefer the winter chill of zone 8 to my zone 10…


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