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common name: Sea holly
dry soil, moist soil, sandy soil, coastal
preferred soil pH: neutral-alkaline
minimum temp: -12°C
USDA zone: 7 to 10
Spiny, stiffly branching perennial with thick wavy, lobed glaucous blue-green leaves, the upper leaves often encircling the stem. Tight rounded heads of small blue flowers, with a ruff of leaf-like spiny bracts. Develops very deep roots enabling it to survive tough coastal conditions.
Very sharply drained sandy or gravely soil in full sun. Tolerant of heat, drought and salt. Grows best in exposed coastal situations.
Coastal gardens or similar situations.
The roots and young shoots are edible and also used as a medicinal herb, particularly for the treatment of prostate and urinary problems.
Characteristic wildflower of the seashore and locally common on sandy and shingle beaches and dunes. Native to many parts of coastal Britain.