Common Name: sea holly
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: Central and southeastern Europe
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Steel blue
Sun: Full sun
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil
Easily grown in dry, sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates poor soils. Tall plants may sprawl, particularly if grown in overly fertile soils or in anything less than full sun. Avoid overwatering. This is a taprooted plant that transplants poorly and is best left undisturbed once established. ‘Blue Glitter’ may be grown from seed and reportedly will bloom first year from seed.
‘Blue Glitter’ is a coarse, thistle-like, clump-forming sea holly cultivar that is particularly noted for producing an abundant crop of “glittering” steel blue flower heads on heavily branched stems throughout summer. Although developed at least in part for the cut flower industry, this cultivar makes an excellent addition to the home garden. From basal rosettes (to 8” tall) of elliptic to oblong, cordate-based, deeply-toothed, blue green leaves (to 4” long) rise stiff silver-blue stems to 36-40” tall. Tiny, stemless, steel-blue flowers tightly packed into egg-shaped heads resembling thistles appear in profusion in summer in well-branched clusters at the stem tops. Each flower head is subtended by a narrow, spiky collar of spiny, blue-green bracts.
No serious insect or disease problems. Aphids may appear. Watch for leaf spot diseases.
Excellent selection for sun baked areas of the landscape. Beds and borders. Effective as a single specimen or in groupings. Excellent for cut or dried flower arrangements.