Eryngium maritimum

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Sea holly
Mikołajek nadmorski RB1.jpg
Sea holly, shore of Mediterranean Sea near mouth of Dalyan River, Turkey
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Eryngium
Species: E. maritimum
Binomial name
Eryngium maritimum
L.

The sea holly, Eryngium maritimum, is a species of Eryngium in the plant family Apiaceae and native to most European coastlines. It resembles a plume thistle in that its flower is burr-shaped, but the flowers are metallic blue rather than mauve. Protected from winds this dune plant grows to a height of 20 to 60 cm. Although widespread, it is considered endangered in many areas, such as Germany where its occurrence has been greatly reduced throughout and has become locally extinct in several districts.

In Elizabethan times in England, these plants were believed to be a strong aphrodisiac. They are named in a speech by Falstaff:

"Let the sky rain potatoes;
let it thunder to the tune of Green-sleeves,
hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes [sea-holly],
let there come a tempest of provocation..."

Falstaff, Act 5, scene v, "The Merry Wives of Windsor", William Shakespeare

Sea holly was nominated the 2002 County flower for the city of Liverpool.Liverpool#Trivia

References[edit]

This article is based on a translation of an article from the German Wikipedia

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