Need help with plant identification – a cone-like violet flower with prickly leaves
Have you got any idea what is this flower? I saw it in Australia. The plant has tall stems, on top of each there is a one cone-like flower, which consists of many tiny violet flowers. There are prickly leaves at the base of the flower, which look like propellers 🙂 Can you recognize this plant? Thank you!
I think this flower is Eryngium planum, in the carrot family Apiaceae. This plant is known as blue eryngo, or flat sea holly. It is native to the central and southeastern Europe and central Asia.
Sea holly has branched silvery-blue stems, and numerous small blue conical flowerheads surrounded by spiky bracts in summer. It is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.
Fat sea holly is used in European folk medicine as a diuretic, a stimulant, and an appetizer because of its essential oils, and bioactive compounds. It may be known as Eryngii plani herba or Eryngii plani radix.