Tuesday 1 August 2017

Amethyst sea holly

People in the Karst know that when the amethyst eryngo or amethyst sea holly Eryngium amethystinum turns blue, summertime has reached its climax. This attractive flower of the Apiaceae family is found across dry grasslands of the Karst where it can be very common. It also grows in a few other ares of western and southern Slovenia, always favouring dry meadows. The first flowers already appear at the beginning of July, when they are still well concealed in the grass, due to their ice-green colour. As the season advances, they slowly aquire the distinctive blue tinge and by August, most of them become deep blue. This "colouring" process is also typical of other members of the genus Eryngium, for example sea holly Eryngium maritimum and Alpine sea holly Eryngium alpinum
Amethyst eryngo is one of the very few flowers on dry meadows at this time of year (and through autumn) and so it attracts a great variety of insects, especially butterflies...
Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus
False Grayling Arethusana arethusa
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina