T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Eryngium vesiculosum (Sea holly)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Eryngium
Species: E. vesiculosum
Scientific name: Eryngium vesiculosum
Common names: Sea holly, Coastal eryngo, Prickfoot

Eryngium vesiculosum is a low-spreading, stiff prickly perennial herb with prostrate ribbed stems up to 30 cm long. It is found in the North Island from the Manawatu and Eastern Wairarapa Coastline south and in the South Island it is found mainly east of the main divide. It grows in wet soils where the roots do not dry out.
Its stiff bright green lance-shaped leaves are oblong or oblanceolate up to 15 cm long and 0.5-1.5 cm wide with long spiny teeth.
It has metallic blue flowers from December to February on small egg-shaped to round flower heads on stalks 1-3cm long. The fruit are 5-6 mm long, covered with blunt bladdery scales.
It can be purchased at specialised native nurseries.

Photographed at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.