Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Sea Holly
Eryngium pandanifolium

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Eryngium (er-RIN-jee-um) (Info)
Species: pandanifolium (pan-dan-uh-FOH-lee-um) (Info)

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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Green
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral saya On Apr 25, 2005, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

A very ornamental plant also known as E. decaisneanum. It is widespread in South America preferring marshes and wet fields. Basal rosettes of sword like leaves up to 2.5m long give rise to a branching scape to 4 meters high studded with numerous reddish purple flower heads. It is not very hardy outdoors but has survived temperatures down to -10c when grown in a very well-drained soil and a sheltered position.
Plants should be put in their final position whilst small since they resent root disturbance. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.
Seeds are best sown as soon as it is ripe in early autumn on the surface of a well-drained compost in a cold frame. The seeds can also be sown in spring. It usually germinates in 5 - 90 days at 20c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in early spring or autumn. Take care since the plant resents root disturbance.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Florence, South Carolina

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