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Eryngium horridum (The Nice Eryngium)

We found this growing at Wakehurst Place in Sussex in 1989. Nobody seemed to know much about it but I liked it and through the good offices of the splendid Tony Schilling (the curator at the time), we acquired some seed and have grown it ever since. The little we learned was : that it was an introduction through Kew Gardens from Mexico and that the one they had might have been the only one in captivity outside of Mexico. It’s still little known nearly 30 years on. There’s a very brief account of this plant in Wikipedia written in Danish which I have yet to get round to translating. It’s hardy (outside at Cooks Farm for nearly 30 years) and neat and spiky and much more evergreen than many of the Eryngiums. As with much herbaceous stuff, not a bad idea to cut it to the ground from time to time so you get nothing but new foliage in the summer. Each rosette reaches less than 1ft across. Full sun and reasonable drainage seem its only requirements. The taxonomists often baffle us. What’s horrid about it for heaven’s sake?

Hardiness traffic light amber

Hardiness level Amber

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Hardy in the Home Counties if sensibly sited (avoiding severe frost pockets, for example). Many Amber Labelled Plants are from cuttings from well-established plants that have survived many harsh winters in the South-East.

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.