In our flower A to Z, we have made it to the letter E which is Eryngium, or Sea Holly, the distinctive blue spiky bloom favoured by brides with Scottish roots and lovers of long-lasting bouquets, has significantly grown in popularity over recent years. It’s unusual texture, colour, and excellent vase life make it a popular choice with florists and customers alike. There are over 200 varieties of eryngium but the most commonly used, and a firm favourite of ours is Eryngium ‘Supernova’, perhaps so-called because of its starlike shape.

The similarity of eryngium and Scottish thistle makes it a very popular choice for Scottish wedding flowers, and its colour can vary from cobalt blue, through to purple, through to nearly white. Blue eryngium supernova looks particularly beautiful with creamy white avalanche roses and lots of eucalyptus, in both bridal work or simply in a vase at home. As a plant, eryngium has a reputation as being very hardy, able to withstand poor soil, drought, wind and salt sprays, and in the vase there is not much difference! Customers can expect upwards of 10 days vase life, but eryngium also dries well and as such can be enjoyed beyond its life in water and used in dried arrangements or with fresh foliage. It is also a particularly popular flower at Christmas, a period when the stems are laden with multiple, deep blue blooms, and it looks wonderfully festive in arrangements with red and green hypericum berries, deep red naomi rose and green blooms.

In terms of its meaning in floriography, the language of flowers, eryngium can mean independence, severity and attraction. Severity is understandable, as its prickly exterior means that while it adds unusual texture it is not the most tactile of flowers, and independence also makes sense given the flowers ability to thrive in the most challenging and exposed of conditions, but the attraction is perhaps harder for us to understand given the flowers spikiness. Nevertheless it a popular choice for brides so there must be something in that!

In terms of care and maintenance of eryngium as previously mentioned the blooms are hardy and long-lasting but should still be cut at a 45-degree angle and placed in a few inches of cool freshwater with an appropriate flower food, out of direct sunlight.

Gorgeous in the winter with reds and greens, a perfect pairing in a plain glass vase with eucalyptus, or tied with creamy roses for a dreamy bridal bouquet, eryngium is versatile, unusual and great value.

Ixia Flowers Valentine’s Design 2018