This month, we're going to take a look at eryngiums. Sometimes referred to by their common name, sea holly, you'll find several different types available at the Flower Market.
A well-known variety is Eryngium 'Supernova Questar', pictured below, and it's instantly recognisable due to its fresh green tip. Read on to discover more about these wonderfully textural flowers…
From the Umbelliferae family, the name eryngium derives from the Greek word for thistle. Eryngiums can have blue or white flowers depending on the variety, together with a ruff of spiky bracts on branching stems. They're available in a range of different lengths. And you'll find them in bunches of either five or ten stems.
Those that come in from Holland are usually available all year round, whereas British eryngiums can be found at Pratley for only a small window during the summer months, usually for 2-3 weeks around the end of July and beginning of August.
Eryngium 'Orion Questar'
Eryngium 'Supernova Questar'
Eryngium ‘Vega Questar’
Eryngium 'Magical Purple'
Eryngium 'Sirius Questar'
Here are some comments about this teasel-like flower from some of the Market traders:
Bobby at Alagar says: 'Eryngiums are a steady seller and are very popular at Christmas.'
Leigh at Bloomfield says: 'Some people refer to Sirius Questar, the white variety, as silver. With regards to care, it's best to treat eryngiums like roses as they have woody stems. So it can help to split up the stem.'
Dennis at Dennis Edwards Flowers says: 'Orion Questar is our most popular variety and it’s often used at weddings. Supernova Questar and Sirius Questar are also very sought after. We can order in colours, for example gold, silver and red.'
Jon at J H Hart Flowers says: 'Supernova Questar is our most popular variety. It's good value for money and with its thick stem, it lasts well.'
Trevor at S Robert Allen says: 'Our most popular varieties are Orion Questar and Supernova Questar. The Scots use eryngiums at lots of events on or around Burn's Night on January 25th. And at Christmas, as well as the blue and white varieties, we get dyed eryngiums in a range of colours.'
Graeme at Zest Flowers says: 'When customers call, they sometimes refer to them as eryngiums and sometimes thistles. Donard is a great variety, which is more of a vibrant blue.'
Eryngiums are perfect for adding fabulous texture to floral designs, either used on their own, for example massed in wreaths or small vase arrangements, or mixed with other flowers and foliage in hand-tied bouquets, bridal bouquets or tablecentres.
They also look lovely in buttonholes and are popular for Christmas arrangements.
Here are some examples of beautiful floral designs by Market customers featuring eryngiums…
(Source: Nikki Tibbles | Wild at Heart)
(Source: Scarlet & Violet)
(Source: Rob Van Helden)
(Source: Jane Packer)
We'd love to see photos of arrangements that you've made using eryngiums from the Market. Simply send an email to email@example.com, stating your company name and website address. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Twitter and copy us in, by including @MarketFlowers in your tweet. We'll then upload your photos into this section.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's Product Profile. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments. As always, we'd love to hear from you.
P.S. When Zara Phillips married Mike Tindall in Scotland in 2011, eryngiums featured in her bridal bouquet, which was made by London florist Paul Thomas.