Eryngium / Eryngo
Common Name: Eryngo
The most commercially available, North American, native Eryngium species is Eryngium yuccifolium (button eryngo or rattlesnake master). However, several Eryngium species, which originated in the Mediterranean or South America, can be found in North American nurseries, most of which are attractive to a variety of native bees and syrphid flies. The hollow stems of Eryngo also provide nest sites for tunnel-nesting bees. As it is a striking, reliable perennial, numerous hybrids and cultivars of Eryngium have been created for garden use, which nonetheless retain their attractiveness to native bees. Most Eryngium species prefer well-drained soil.
Nationwide, throughout most of the United States and southern Canada
Average to dry
Eryngium yuccifolium (rattlesnake master, button eryngo) is found generally in wet or dry prairies and open woods in the southeast US, north to Virginia and throughout the Midwest to Minnesota, Kansas and Texas. The white, globe-like flower heads have a honey-like odor and are in bloom June to September. This native, perennial species, which grows from 2 to 6 feet, is routinely available in nurseries.
Eryngium amethystinum (sea holly) is a perennial species native to the Mediterranean but is routinely available in North American nurseries. It produces striking blue-violet, spiny, globed flower heads throughout the summer. A compact plant, growing to about 2 feet, it is tolerant of hot dry sites and is attractive to butterflies, as well as many small bees.