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Eryngium giganteum

‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’


$5.00 AUD

Availability: In stock

Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’

Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ has shimmering silvery-blue leaves, silver cones of flowers and ghostly stems.
All looking as if cut from sheet metal.

Shimmering silver flower cones, silver-blue-green leaves & ghostly stems

The large, silver cones of flowers are surrounded by a collar of silver bracts all through summer.
With the cones first opening blushed with green, and then maturing to silver-blue.
While the foliage is a wonderful sea blue-green colour.
The word giganteum refers to the size of the flower cones, not the whole plant – which is compact and perfect for flower borders.

Dramatic garden contrast of colour & form

So Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ creates a luminous, dramatic contrast in the garden – with both silvery colour and bold architectural form.
As the whole plant is very upright and branching, with those large dramatic heads.

Superb cut flower both fresh & dried

‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ is also a fabulous cut flower to use fresh or to dry for later use in arrangements.

Favourite of flower farmers & professional florists

Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’  is a firm favourite for commercial flower farmers and professional florists, as well as home gardeners.
Because of its super hardy, weatherproof growth and excellent vase life as a cut flower.

Excellent vase life

Cut stems of ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ naturally have an excellent vase life because of their firm, metallic texture.
Plus vase life can also be extended further with pre-conditioning of the cut stems.

Conditioning for an extra long vase life as a commercial cut flower

So to pre-condition – cut the stems from the garden right down at the base of the plant.
Then bring the bunch in and recut the end of the stems at an angle of 45°, cutting under running water or with the ends of the stems submerged in a bowl of water (this eliminates air pockets).

Then immediately stand the stems deep in a container of water at room temperature, to hydrate the flowers well before use in arrangements.
The addition of flower preservative solution or sugar to the water will also help to condition the blooms for an even longer vase life.
So after 2-3 hours of conditioning the blooms are ready for use.
Fresh blooms of Eryngium giganteum can last up to 12-15 days in arrangements.

Wonderful dried blooms for long-term arrangements

Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ is also one of the most popular commercial cut flowers for drying.
Because it retains its shimmering metallic silver colouring so well.
Simply hang the harvested bunches upside down in a warm, dark, dry place and they will very successfully dry stiff and preserve their beautiful silver colouring.
Or in large scale production they can be dried more quickly using silica gel, which retains the ghostly colour so well.
And stems can be even more rapidly dried by using a microwave with silica gel.

Super hardy and weatherproof growth

Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ is a tough, easily grown plant.
It relishes Full Sun, hot and exposed positions.
Where it is a water-wise plant and resistant to drought once established.

Easy-going in poor soil, some salinity, exposed & coastal conditions

Easy-going ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ also copes in poor soils, including sandy, limestone areas and coastal positions.
It can also tolerate a degree of salinity in the water or soil, so it well earns the family common name of “Sea Holly”.

Pest & trouble free

Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ is a self-sowing annual which is wonderfully hardy in frost, dry, heat, and salt air.
Upright 60-90cm. High x 45cm. Wide.

Loved by bees & pollinators

Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ is beloved by pollinators, bees and other friendly insect pollinators because of its sweet nectar.
Plus the autumn seed heads (if left on), are great winter fodder for finches and other seed eating birds.

Avoided by deer & rabbits

While rabbits and deer dislike the taste and texture of Eryngium.

Who was Miss Willmott?

Miss Ellen Willmott was one of the most respected (some may say even feared), eccentric, and talented British gardeners of the early 20th century.
She loved the Eryngium which came to be known as ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’; and is reputed to have carried pockets full of the seed so she could secretly deposit it in every garden she visited, like a horticultural calling card.


Sow  seeds of Eryngium giganteum ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ at any time of year in punnets indoors, when suitable temperatures are available / or scatter in the garden winter-early spring. Seeds germination is improved by a period of cold.

Sow indoors for quick plants: First sow the seeds in a punnets on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Now sprinkle lightly with sieved mix, but do not bury, as these seeds need light to germinate.

Then stand the punnet in a shallow water bath and allow the moisture to percolate up to the surface of the mix from below.

Now place the moist punnet in a warm, well lit position (but not in any direct sunlight).

Continue to keep the mix consistently moist by misting from a spray water bottle.
Covering the punnet with clear plastic lid or a plastic bag will help maintain consistent moisture.

Keep at 18-22C approx. for 2-4 weeks.
You can use a temperature controlled heat mat if you have one.

After 2-4 weeks of warmth, cling wrap the moist punnet and place it in the fridge (not freezer) for 4-6 weeks.

Then unwrap & remove to the warm, well-lit position.
Temperatures around 20C are ideal for rapid and optimum germination.

Most seedlings emerge in 5-30 days.
But do not discard the punnet too quickly, as some seeds may come later.

Prick out as seedlings as soon as possible.
Pot on into larger pots, as the seedlings grow strongly and quickly form long tap roots.

Seed Count: 20 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the seed count and give a generous serve).

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