Sea-holly Eryngium maritimum L.
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Sea-holly flower

Sea-holly and bee

Sea-holly at the end of the growing season
Sea-holly is a perrenial with spiny holly-like blue-green and white-veined leaves. Globular umbels of powder blue flowers appear between July and ­September, after which seed is set and the plant dies back.

Sea-holly was once quite widely distributed on the Sussex and Kent coasts, but in recent years it has been recorded at only a few sites. Much of the decline is thought to be due to coastal development and habitat loss, but picking and trampling may have contributed. In some places where people walk barefoot, Sea-holly has been cleared because it is so prickly.

Sea-holly is on the Sussex Rare Species Inventory and also has regional protection in northern France.
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