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A picture of a Alpine Sea Holly

Alpine Sea Holly

Eryngium alpinum

Also known as

Bluetop sea holly, Sea holly

Photo by CandideUK (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Alpine Sea Holly Overview

Eryngium alpinum is a clump-forming perennial that produces upright flowering stems from a rosette of dark-green glossy leaves. In summer and autumn, silver to bluish-purple, frilled cone-like large flowers is produced that make excellent cut flowers. The upper part of the stem can also turn a deep blue. Commonly known as Alpine Eryngo or Alpine Sea Holly, these plants can be planted in any south, east or west-facing sunny spot and prefer a soil that isn't too fertile and relatively dry as winter wet can cause the roots to rot. The striking shape of the flower not only makes them an attractive cut-flower but left in situ architectural interest into winter. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants that support pollinator populations by providing ample nectar and pollen. An excellent choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Alpine Sea Holly

How to propagate Alpine Sea Holly


Division in spring.


Sow seed as soon as its ripe into pots to be over-wintered in cold frames.


Cultivars can be propagated by root cuttings in winter.

Special features of Alpine Sea Holly

Attractive flowers

Attracts useful insects

Other uses of Alpine Sea Holly

Walls, rock garden, border, wildflower/meadow, dried arrangements. Summer interest. Suitable for coastal conditions.