Thursday, July 15, 2010

Eryngium paniculatum

I wouldn't put this in the carrot family at first glance, it doesn't have those flat-topped umbels like poison hemlock or sweet fennel. It also doesn't have those highly divided leaves like parsley or carrots. But it does have a parsely or celery sort of smell to it, so I guess it isn't too surprising. The leaves look more like those of an agave, spiky and sword-like. Rather striking structural form with low growing leaves and balls of flowers. And it makes a good dried flower. It is in several beds at the UC Botanical Garden, so maybe it is easy to grow in this climate. I couldn't find this one for sale online, but I did find Erngium yuccifolium, which is very similar. The common name of that one is "Rattlesnake Master." It is native to eastern North America and Indians used the root to combat rattlesnake venom.

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