Eryngium maritimum (NL: Blauwe zeedistel / EN: Sea holly / DE: Stranddistel / FR: Panicaut maritime) is a clump forming perennial in the plant family Apiaceae and native to most European coastlines. This attractive, architectural plant is unlikely to be mistaken for any other species occurring at coastal sand dunes. Its stiff, spiny leaves are blue-green and netted with silvery white veins. The small purple blue flowers are packed into a rounded, teasel like head backed by broad spiny bracts and the hairless stems are often tinged with purple. In some ways, it resembles a flowering thistle, in that its flower is burr-shaped. The protected dune plant grows to a height of 20 to 60 cm. Although widespread, it is considered endangered. Flowering occurs from June to September.
The snail attached to one of the leaves (probably Cepaea nemoralis ?) provided an extra photographic element for this image.
Image: Bray-dunes (FR) - 20/08/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.
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