Eryngium is a genus in the family Apiaceae of about 230 species of annual and perennial thistles with hairless and usually spiny leaves, and dome-shaped umbels of steely blue or white flowers with a whorl of spiny basal bracts. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the centre of diversity in South America. Some species are native to rocky and coastal areas, but the majority are grassland plants. Common names include sea holly (though not related to true hollies Ilex) and eryngo, the former typically being applied to coastal species, and the latter to grassland species.
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