Common name: Sea holly

Scientific name: Eryngium spp.

Plant type: Perennial

Height: 15-24 inches

Width: 8-12 inches

Blooms: Summer

Where to plant: Full sun

Water requirement: Drought tolerant (once established)

Preparing the soil: Average to poor soils

Hardy: Zone 3

While this plant's spiny leaves might vaguely resemble the thistle you spend hours trying to get rid of, this is a cultivated garden plant that offers bright steel-blue, conelike flowers with silvery leaves. Basal blue-green leaves make it a beautiful accent plant that is drought tolerant and can withstand hot, sunny exposures with little water once it is established. The spiny leaves make it deer resistant. Long-lasting blue cone flowers also work well in dried floral arrangements.

Julie McIntyre, Summerland Gardens