Eryngium paniculatum is displaying spherical flower heads on the Systematic Beds.
Occurring in South America, Africa and Eurasia, the genus Eryngium belongs to the carrot family, Apiaceae, and numbers 230 species with spine-toothed leaves and bracteate flower heads. Eryngium paniculatum (syn. E. eburneum) is a native of temperate South America, and typical of the South American species has sword-shaped evergreen foliage, while the African and Eurasian species tend to be deciduous and have ovate or heart-shaped leaves, and have tap roots. This is a clump-forming species, whose leaves can be up to 1m in length, while the flower stems can reach 1.5m. The flower stems are highly branched, and bear globular umbels, each of which is composed of many individual white-green flowers and spine-tipped bracts. E. paniculatum is an attractive, architectural species and produces a plentiful supply of nectar for bees.