A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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A Sea Holly

October 18, 2014

This sea holly has a beautiful amethyst blue flower. It is Eryngium amethystinium or more easily blue eryngo. It is a clump-forming, perennial, tap-rooted herb. Its stem is 30 to 50 cm long and is light blue to purple in colour. It has a basal circle of obovate, pinnate, spiny, leathery, mid-green leaves. It flowers in mid to late summer with cylindrical umbels, 2-3 cm long atop silvery blue bracts and branching stems. The plant is native to the eastern Mediterranean and prefers dry places and soils that are rich in calcium.

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