Humble Umbels - the Architectural Collection
Our Plantsman's 6 plant collection includes, Eryngium eburnium, Eryngium yuccifolium, Eryngium agavifolium, Molopospermum peloponnesiacum, Eryngium venustum, and Selinum wallichianum. Plants supplied in 9cm pots.
Umbels or Umbellifers is the word horticulturalists use to describe plants that are mainly in the umbelliferae family (now Apiaceae ) with flowers that are composed of hundreds of individual florets held in flattened cloud-like discs. Their intricate structures always reward closer inspection. Insects like them too and they are some of the best flowers for attracting hoverflies, bees and other insect allies in the summer and late summer and autumn garden.
Apiaceae, the carrot family, is a huge family of annual, biennial and perennial plants with a global distribution, Apiaceae is characterised by its distinctive inflorescence - the umbel, which gave the family its former name of Umbelliferae. From familiar foods, such as carrot and parsnip, to the striking architecture of the ornamental Eryngium and Bupleurum, to toxic and invasive weeds like Giant Hogweed, the family is rich in variety and uses.
Our Plantsman's collection of Architectural Umbels includes some of the most unusual and yet easy to grow varieties for that exotic or architectural look.
Eryngium yuccifolium, commonly called rattlesnake-master or button snake-root in the US state of Missouri where this native plant which occurs in rocky woods, prairies and glades throughout the state. Here we call it the Yucca leaved Sea Holly. Quite different from the usual blue forms of Sea Holly, this one forms a low clump of grassy, yucca-like leaves, bearing tall stems bearing tiny, greenish-white flowers tightly packed into globular, 2-3cm diameter heads that resemble thistles, or golf balls, in mid to late summer.
Eryngium venustum was formerly grown by us as E. umbelliferum. It has long deeply lobed leaves an unusual feature of Ernygiums . Forms rosettes of unusual foliage that has an almost variegated appearance. Flowers are greenish-white with silvery buttons that are borne on upright stems, useful for flower arranging. Prefers full sun and well drained soil. Hardy. Height 0.5m, spread 0.5m. Supplied in a 9cm pot.
From the mountains of central and southern Europe comes this large and ornamental, strongly aromatic perennial plant. It has handsome and decorative, shiny, long-pointed, fern-like foliage and bears in late spring large numbers of yellow turning cream flowers. This is a plant that certainly has WOW factor. It will really draw attention to your garden and it is well worth learning to get your tongue around the name.A rather stout perennial Umbel of considerable architectural value. Attaining a height of 100-150cm, with large elegant leaves consisting of many much divided leaflets, below the large compound umbels of yellow turning cream flowers. Best in part shade in a drained moisture retentive preferably neutral to acid soil. The very filigreed highly varnished foliage does die down quite early so don’t be too alarmed when in late summer the foliage starts to turn. It is found growing wild in the Alps and Pyrenees. In the Eastern Pyrenees , the young leaves and stems are used in the preparation of liqueurs or eaten fresh in salads.
Eryngium agavifolium is an easy and very handsome and striking evergreen architectural perennial with rosettes of sword shaped,sharply toothed, rich green leaves. Flower heads are tall statuesque and thistle like, with tiny greenish-white flowers composite, together creating teasel like heads on branched stems produced during late summer. Prefers full sun in well drained soil. Hardy. Height 1.5m, spread 1m.
Selinum wallichianum rises later in the spring than most perennials. But, once it is ready to re-grow, it spreads out its basal leaves to form mats of fine foliage. Each leaf is intricately divided. Strong ribbed stems then start to push up, heavily endowed with more fretted leaves, making tiered layers of lace. The stems branch but the tiered effect is maintained. During late summer, the flower buds emerge, inverted and cradled by the supporting pinky-bronze stems. Each flower head becomes a plateau composed of a number of smaller florets, which in turn are made up of a myriad of tiny flowers.
Eryngium eburneum is a very exotic looking Eryngium sea holly which provides excellent bold form and texture to the garden. Resembles a Yucca when not in flower as it forms the same dense clumps of neat, narrow, sword-shaped, spiny but not too painful leaves! In late spring it begins to form tall stems which carry branching heads tipped with thimble shaped clusters of white flowers. Easy to grow. Prefers full sun with moist but well drained soil. Tender in frost. Height 1.5m, spread 0.6m.