Eryngium aquaticum var. ravenelii

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If you love the steelly-blue flower color of Eurasian eryngiums but lament that the native Eryngium yuccifolium lacks it -- then you might want to take a look at this obscure but outstanding wetland native.  Eryngo does indeed produce large thimbles of --yes -- silver-blue flowers in summer on plants similar in size to rattlesnake-master.  The linear basal leaves are similar in shape to those of its cousin, but less prominently toothed.  Don't be fooled by the "wetland" part -- it does well in most any soil that's not too dry. Unaccountably rare.

Sun; moist humus-rich soil; 4'x2'; mid to late summer. Zone 5

Propagated from seed; deep 3.5-inch pots. 

Photo: Mark T. Strong and Carol L. Kelloff