Eryngium aquaticum

Common Name: eryngo 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apiaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Water Plant
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Grow in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Will grow in wet soils with shallow water, but will also prosper in garden loams given consistent moisture. Tall plants may sprawl, particularly if grown in overly fertile soils or in too much shade. May be grown from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Eryngium aquaticum, commonly called eryngo, is a coarse, aquatic perennial that typically occurs in marshes and bogs from New Jersey south to Florida and west to Mississippi. It is mostly found along the coast. It is similar in general appearance to E. yuccifolium which grows in much drier soils of rocky woods, prairies and glades. It is believed that some cultivated material sold as E. aquaticum is actually E. yuccifolium. Eryngo (also sometimes called sea holly) grows to 4’ tall. It features basal leaves that are linear to oblong-lanceolate and entire to remotely toothed. The upper leaves are sometimes spiny toothed to laciniate. Tiny white flowers (sometimes with a purplish tinge) bloom in summer in tight, rounded, flower heads.

Genus name comes from an ancient Greek name used by Theophrastus for a plant which grew in Greece (probably Eryngium campestre) or is a Greek reference to the prickly or spiny nature of plants in this genus.

Specific epithet means growing near or in water.


No serious insect or disease problems. Taller plants may need support.


Water gardens, ponds, low spots. Borders.