Etymology: Eryngium: Greek for "prickly plant," referring to apparent prickle-like leaves even though they are neither prickly or sharp
Plants: erect, perennial, 1 1/2'-4' tall forb; roots a small, close bundle
Leaves: parallel veins, succulent, stiff, long and narrow with a sharp point and spiny edges; most from a basal clump
Flowers: white to purplish, 5-parted; inflorescence a terminal, branched cluster (cyme) of 1/4"-1" spiny, round balls densely covered by tiny flowers; blooms July-Aug.
Fruits: dry, splitting into 2 seeds
Habitat: sun; dry to moist; meadows, prairies; in sandy, loamy soil
Conservation Status: Native
Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 8, Wetland Indicator = FAC+ Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources: Rare Species Guide; description, conservation, photos, maps, etc. Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key. Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: Britton & Brown Illustrated Flora - 2nd Edition (1913) "An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada"