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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
SEA HOLLY, ERYNGO
syn. E. bromeliifolium
Pronounced: e-RING-gee-um a-gah-vi-FO-lee-um
Sunset zones: 2-24.
USDA zones: 6-9.
Heat zones: 9-6
Height: 3-5 feet (1-1.5 m).
Width: 24 inches (60 cm).
Cylindrical umbels of green-white flowers with spiny-toothed bracts on long stems.
Evergreen, sword-shaped, very sharp toothed, glossy, deep green leaves.
Moist, well-drained, fertile soil.
Side dress with compost and fertilize with a complete organic fertilizer in spring.
Sow fresh seed in containers with germination in 1-2 weeks at 65-75°F (18-23°C).
Rainy Side Notes
Looking like an agave with teeth, this new world plant's natural habitat is on stony hills and riverbanks of Argentina. Since we cannot grow agaves in our maritime Pacific Northwest climate without protecting it over winter, this agave-like plant is a hardy alternative.
In summer, E. agavifolium throws up tall stalks of flowers that can be cut for the vase or for drying. Many prefer just the foliage and cut the flower stalks off. After being poked by its jagged teeth a few times, I am not sure I prefer the foliage! Christopher Lloyd proclaimed, "It is a bold plant but coarse in a rather unpleasant way." I wonder if he was poked by it, too?
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.