Miss Willmott's ghost
- available to order from late summer
- 9cm pot
- 3 × 9cm pots
This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.
- Position: full sun
- Soil: dry, well-drained, poor to moderately fertile soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June to August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Easily recognised by their ruff of spiky bracts surrounding a prominent, cone-like centre of tiny flowers, sea hollies make a bold statement in a sunny border or gravel garden. This variety is also known as 'Miss Willmott's Ghost', after the nineteenth-century gardener, Ellen Willmott, who liked to secretly scatter seeds of the plant in other people's gardens. The name could equally apply to the plant's appearance, with its ruff of large, prickly, steely-grey bracts that shine a ghostly silver in the sun. The marbled, heart-shaped foliage is attractive too, and shown off to best effect planted in gravel. Or try this eryngium in bold clumps among grasses. Eryngiums are also perfect for use in dried flower arrangements. This variety is biennial, but self-seeds freely.
- Garden care: This eryngium looks tatty after flowering, so cut it to the ground in autumn. Lift and divide large colonies in spring.