by Stephen Mifsud
   9 Feb 2023      ()
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Eryngium maritimum   (Sea Holly)

Eryngium maritimum  (APIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Eryngium maritimum - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 09-Feb-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Eryngium maritimumL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 233 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Eryngium marinum Garsault
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Apiaceae Lindl. (=Umbelliferea) (The Carrot Family)
34 species from the Apiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Sea Holly, Seaside Eryngo

Maltese name(s) :

Xewk ir-ramel

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: GEOPHYTE ( bearing underground bulbs, rhizomes, stolons, etc. )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Threatened status for the Maltese Islands and has been listed in the Red Data Book (1st ed.)

Flowering Time :

June – October

Colour of Flowers:



Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :

maritimum: Maritime; related to the coast or the seashore. (Latin origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Remarks :

Population of this species is decreasing from the Maltese Islands.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Maritime sands
Preferred habitat in Malta: Sandy shores and sand dunes
Botanical Description: Perennial, perhaps sometimes monocarpic; stems 15-60 cm, erect, branched above. Lamina of basal leaves 4-10 x 5-15 cm, suborbicular, truncate or cordate at base, 3-(to 5-)lobed, coriaceous, with coarse, patent, spinescent teeth; petiole equalling lamina, unwinged, entire. Inflorescence spreading, bluish, with usually numerous, pedunculate, subglobose capitula 1.5-3 cm. Bracts 2.5-4 cm, 4-7, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, with 1-3 pairs of broad, spinescent teeth; bracteoles 3-cuspidate. Sepals 4-5 mm, ovate-lanceolate, aristate. fruit densely scaly.
Chromosome number: 2n=16
Distributional range: Coasts of Europe northwards to 60° N

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, Belgium, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, Denmark, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Sweden, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? Ag Al Be(B) Bl(I M N) Br Bu Cg Co Cr Ct Cy Da Es Ga(F) Ge Gg Gr Hb(E N) Ho Hs(G S) Ir ?Is It La Le Li Lt Lu Ma No Po Rf(S) Rm Sa Si(M S) Sl Su Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K U)

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (9 images)
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-0.
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-1.
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-2.
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-3.
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-4.
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-5.
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-6.
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-7.
   Eryngium maritimum   -   Image Code: ERYMT-8.

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