Eringium or blue thistle
This plant is unusual not only in its structure, but also in color. In favorable conditions, it acquires a piercing blue color from the base to the top.
If the bluehead is cut and dried in time, then it will retain its shape for at least a year. Therefore, this original flower is used as a dried flower.
As for the ornamental garden, here the eryngium is gradually gaining popularity among landscape designers. In fact, this plant is ubiquitous, but only a real esthete can see its sophisticated beauty among the riot of colors.
English gardeners have long identified eringium (the Latin version of the name) among wild plants and have been happy to select it. However, you do not need to surf the Internet in search of elite seeds. Even simple meadow species can be beautifully planted surrounded by the right partners.
I would like to say a few words about the «character» of the bluehead. This flower is perennial with the exception of a few species. All it needs is sun and suitable soil.
The root system of the plant is designed so that the fleshy rod-shaped root accumulates moisture and is able to do without watering for a long time. But in terms of reproduction, this plant is a real snob: it’s not so easy to decorate certain corners of the garden with blue eringium branches.
If you like a herb garden or naturgarden landscape, be sure to plant a eryngium in your yard. By the way, it is also a valuable medicinal plant. And our ancestors hung a bouquet of eryngium over the front door with the belief that he would not let evil spirits into the house.
Feverweed flat-leaved (Eryngium planum)
- Habitat: widespread throughout.
- Height: up to 1m.
- Flowering period: July August.
- Color spectrum: blue stems, leaves, flowers, greenish bract.
- Growing conditions: sun and clay soils, occurs naturally in meadows near roadsides, winters well, undemanding to watering.
- Peculiarities: perennial, medicinal plant, the brightness of the color depends on the presence of lime in the soil, the stem tends to branch at the top.
Feverweed Alpine (Eryngium alpinum)
- Habitat: mountainous part of Eastern Europe.
- Height: up to 70 cm.
- Flowering period: July.
- Color spectrum: the whole plant is bright blue or purple.
- Growing conditions: steppes, meadows, mountainous terrain, sandy soil.
- Peculiarities: perennial, large heads of flowers are pubescent with a bract-wrapper, exceeding the length of the inflorescence itself, the stem is upright, unbranched.
Amethyst eryngium (Eryngium amethystinum)
- Habitat: Southern and Central Europe.
- Height: up to 70 cm.
- Flowering period: July.
- Color spectrum: bright blue throughout.
- Growing conditions: sunny places, fields, meadows, loamy soils.
- Peculiarities: perennial, the bract is poorly developed, the inflorescences are small, the plant has a pronounced violet-blue color.
Feverweed seasidesea holly (Eryngium maritimum)
- Habitat: Baltic, Crimea, Caucasus, Western Europe.
- Height: 40-70 cm.
- Flowering period: July.
- Color spectrum: silvery blue stems and leaves, pale blue flowers.
- Growing conditions: humid, sunny climate, sandy soils.
- Peculiarities: perennial, rounded inflorescences, bract forms a wrapper of broad leaves, thick stem.
erysipelas odoriferous (Eryngium foetidum)
- Habitat: Mexico, South America.
- Height: up to 50 cm.
- Flowering period: mid summer.
- Color spectrum: green stems, leaves and flowers.
- Growing conditions: loose moist soil, sun and partial shade.
- Peculiarities: a tropical perennial used as a spicy pickling spice, the aroma and taste resembles coriander, only young leaves are used in cooking, and the plant itself is not allowed to bloom, breaking out the peduncle.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW
For dried flowers, blueheads are cut at the moment of full blooming of flowers. It is worth a little overdoing — and the charming heads will disintegrate into seeds.
You can save a beautiful shape and blue color if you dry the blue head in a dark, dry, well-ventilated room upside down. True, and in this case, it can fade. Therefore, after drying, it is often dyed to give more decorative effect in winter bouquets.
In order for the eryngium to acquire the brightest colors in the garden, the soil is acidified for it.
ERINGIUM IN GARDEN DESIGN
The eryngium is a plant for sunny areas. It is planted in drought-resistant mixborders, rockeries, herb garden, everywhere. where he will compete with others for food.
If you plant an eringium in a garden bed, and even take care of it carefully, it will respond with strong growth, turn into a huge bush with a thick stem and lose its decorative effect.
So that the high branched stems of the bluehead do not fall, it is planted either surrounded by medium-sized herbs, or next to vertically standing stones. Any artificial supports in the form of pegs spoil the sophisticated beauty of this plant.
COMBINATION IN SHAPE AND COLOR
The ideal background for blue is yellow. The same rule applies to the garden landscape. Therefore, for exotic blue branches, golden cereals, a little less than a blue-headed height, will become excellent neighbors.
If the garden has rockeries with beige boulders, feel free to plant seeds or seedlings of eringium between them.
A pillow or even a stonecrop rug will be a great addition to the blue stems. They have the same requirements for habitat conditions and excellent color compatibility with the eryngium.
An excellent pair to blue will be white and pink. In the garden, these are chamomile, yarrow, echinacea, scabiosa (pictured), etc.
Cold colors will «lower the heat» in sunny areas of your garden. Therefore, the eryngium is planted in mixborders surrounded by medium-sized herbs with silvery foliage and other plants with blue (mordovnik, sage, lavender, delphinium) and silver color (wormwood, chistets, yaskolka).
The main thing is that the plants in the planting in front of the bluehead should be much lower, and behind more than the same height with this flower, modest in texture, so that it does not “get lost” in the flower garden.
REPRODUCTION AND TRANSPLANT
You can grow eryngium through seedlings. Sowing seeds in peat mini-containers with loose soil mixture is carried out in February, and in the spring the seedlings are transplanted into the garden to a permanent place. It is impossible to remove the plant from the container so as not to damage the fragile roots.
Dividing a bush for a eryngium is a painful procedure that does not tolerate haste and carelessness. Therefore, it is carried out as early as possible, while the young roots are still elastic. In early spring or in September, when the earth is saturated with moisture, it is enough to find a plant whose rosette is overgrown with children.
With a garden scoop, the baby is carefully separated from the material plant. The root of the eryngium is pivotal and it is desirable that it remain intact. However, if less than 1/3 remains in the ground, the plant has a chance to take root.
In the photo: I separated these seedlings from the mother plant in early September. Two out of three had damaged roots (the tips remained in the ground). The autumn of that year was warm and rainy, in November I decided to change the landing site. After excavating the plants from the ground, I found that they were actively taking root and the cut off ends were not a hindrance.
But in general, it is better to immediately transplant the delenka to a permanent place.
The acidity of the soil is responsible for the brightness of the blue color. In our district, it is clayey and slightly acidic, therefore savage eryngiums (a flat-leaved species) look very impressive.
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