Thursday, September 11, 2008

Purple Eryngo

Sky Watch Friday


Sharp Eryngo, don't touch.
Standing on the dry prairie,
Under Heavens vault.


Eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii)
Click on the photo



Eryngium is a genus of about 230 species of annuals and perennials with hairless and usually spiny leaves, and dome-shaped umbels of flowers resembling those of thistles. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the centre of diversity in South America. Some species are native to rocky and coastal areas, but the majority are grassland plants. Common names include Sea-holly and Eryngo, the former typically being applied to coastal species, and the latter to grassland species.

The flowers are clustered in tight umbels, with a whorl of spiny basal bracts.

Eryngium maritimum is a perennial plant native to Europe and often found on sea shores. It produces a basal rosette, from which grow flowering spikes with stiffly spiny foliage and stems. These can reach around 50 cm in height. It is often grown in gardens for its metallic bluish flowers and upper foliage. The basal foliage is a very conspicuous pale grey or silvery green, from which the stiff, lightly-branching flowering stems rise up.

Related species are grown as ornamental plants in gardens, and these may also be called "sea holly", though the majority are not associated with littoral (sea-shore) habitats. Among the best known of these is Eryngium bourgatii, a perennial with stunning green, prickly foliage marbled with silver. The flowers, which appear in summer, are cobalt blue, and appear very attractive to bees. The plant is 30 to 60 cm in height. Other commonly grown ornamental species include Eryngium alpinum, E. variifolium, E. tripartitum, E. bromeliifolium, and the biennial E. giganteum.

Many species of Eryngium have a history of use. The roots have been used as vegetables or for sweetmeats. Young shoots and leaves are sometimes used as an asparagus substitute. The roots, such as of Eryngium yuccifolium and Eryngium maritimum, are potent inflammation modulators and may have other properties.


Photo by Troy
Idea by Martha
Poor attempt at verse by Troy


For other SWF posts,
see Tom's new SkyWatch site here
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Scroll down for the Tiger Beetle today.

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57 comments:

Bradley Myers said...

Great photo for sky watch.

Louise said...

I LOVE these kinds of sky photos. And I've never seen these before. Thanks for the educating comments!

~~Randi~~ said...

Great photo - love it:) Happy SWF!

Dewdrop said...

Troy, You have no idea how close I was to posting a very similar shot. Great stuff! They look very prickly, like thistles.

Yen said...

Oh wow! My new fave:)I posted mine too, HERE! Happy SWF!~

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

a wonderful capture, a stunning yet simple photo

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Very interesting! I grow a bluer version and I never knew they were edible. ;-) I won't be eating mine, though.

fishing guy said...

Troy: Not a plant I'd like to run into in the dark. Nicely captured my friend.

Carver said...

Interesting post and such a beautiful shot of the eryngo against the soft sky.

Picturing of Life said...

lovely shot ^_*

Please drop at my SWF post also: in HERE and HERE Thanks

Old Wom Tigley said...

Great team work again from you both.. love this picture.

Photo Cache said...

I enjoy skywatching when a little flower watching is involved too. This one's a very nice photo. Thanks for the accompanying info.

NovaS said...

it is pretty amazing.. keep sharing some awesome pictures that way we not only me are enjoying to watch it..

here's mine

CrazyCath said...

Ecellent idea. Excellent execution of idea, very informative, love the poem, but the photography...

Brilliant and inspired. :0)
Looks very like a thistle.

I have another site too so you can find my sky watch at the usual site and a second skywatch on my new site called Cath's Cradle.
Please come see if you get time.

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

Hello Troy and Martha,
You are a great team together, 1 for idea another for photography, welldone happy SWF
(And many thanks for signing me in)

Happy SWF Greetings
from JoAnn's D Eyes :)

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

oooh Martha and Troy,
I forgot to say this: "Please be carefull for the "IKE" storm? I hope its not nearby your house?

JoAnn's D Eyes

Denise said...

I love this photo, so beautiful in its simplicity, and I also enjoyed learning about a plant I have never seen before. Thank you!

vincibene said...

A wonderful picture! Thanks for the info!

Kathiesbirds said...

Everything about this photo says "Ouch!" Still, the structure is interesting and the colors are nice. Great Idea Martha. Not such bad poetry, Troy. Did you see my Moon photo on Kathie's Poet Tree? I've been experimenting.

rhoen said...

This is sooo good! I love it! Happy weekend!

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, what a beautifully odd looking flower.

esnorway said...

i like that pic good shoot. have good weekend

Jeanne said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful. And love the info about it too!

babooshka said...

Not only a lovely image but such educational narrative.

Pearl Maple said...

Beautiful photo for sky watch friday, like the way you combine elments of nature at its best.

The blog button about having nature's back is the cutest thing. We all need to be doing our bit for the environment.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

beautiful (and could be quite painfull i suspect) :)

Anonymous said...

Nice photo-nice haiku

Tommy V said...

beautiful flower and great sky post

naturglede said...

Great flower for skywatch:O)

evlahos said...

very beautiful composition for swf. well done

Anne-Berit said...

Wonderful Sky Watch-post!

Gretchen said...

Really pretty!

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Nice photograph! Definitely a plant the bees can have all to themselves! I really do not mind =D
~Michele~
Mountain Retreat

kjpweb said...

Very interesting plant!
Good shot!
Cheers, Klaus

Michael Palmer said...

That is a nice capture!! Nice attention to detail!

Quiet Paths said...

Your photo posts are always so interesting. This plant was equipped to survive!

Aileni said...

'Super Thistle' - don't mess with me !

Gramma L said...

Cool flower and picture.

Daryl said...

They look like pineapples ... thistles ... great shot .. as always

:-Daryl

Halcyon said...

What a neat plant! It looks sort of like a mini-pineapple or something. Very cool... I learned something today!

http://magnoliadailyphoto.blogspot.com/

HFD60 said...

Great SWF image, Troy and Martha.

I gave you an award for your blog just stop by to pick it up.

Carol said...

The Eryngo is very photogenic.. that is a super photo with the sky as a background...

Troy & Martha, you certainly are a team.... and that makes for a #1 blog, for sure.

I am concerned about Ike tho... are you guys ok?... thinking of you, stay safe!

Mike said...

Beautifully bright and breezy!
My Skywatch

behindthebins said...

I have never seen these flowers before. They do look thistley. Great shot.

Mary said...

I love their silvery blue. such a beautiful shot!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Love this picture, the colours are fab together

Gwyn said...

Greetings from Juneau, Alaska!
I like how you incorporated the blue sky in your flower shot. It makes a perfect background.
Have a great weekend!:)

Lew said...

Interesting flower and nice composition with the sky in the background. As to your post of High Island, that is not the place to be tonight. I hope the people down in the Houston area get through Ike without too much damage.

Ladynred said...

That is beautiful1 look like a pineapples!

Sharon Ellery said...

Great photo. Stunningly blue sky and an amazing plant.

Sharon

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

hey Troy & Martha,
I'm just so worried about the "IKE" storm, I hope its NOT affection you nice people, (no-one like 's the storm) Hope you are safe? the weatherforecast here is telling about the stom daily.... TAKE CARE PLEASE!

The Texican said...

Not bad Troy. I think it qualifies as Haiku. The photo is pretty too. Pappy

Genie said...

You know it's going to be a cool blog entry when it starts with an original haiku!

They look like funny purple pineapples on delicate branches, how interesting!

Doug Taron said...

Eryngium yuccifolium is the only member of the genus that's native here in northeast Illinois. I have wondered about its common name Rattlesnake Master. Your comment about the roots being anti-inflammatory is probably the answer. Thanks for increasing my understanding of a plant that I've known for many years.

becky voyles said...

I liked your ending words on this one.

Maria said...

Dear Troy and Martha, please come over to my blog there is an award waiting for you!

pts said...

nice capture!