Despite obvious similarities to the Hooker’s Eryngo currently blooming in my friend’s pasture, the Blueflower Eryngo I occasionally find in east Texas displays narrower bracts, a less-spiny apperance, and smaller, more rounded flowers. Also known as simple leaf eryngo, the plant sometimes is called blue-flower coyote-thistle, although several other eryngos are known by the name coyote-thistle, including Eryngium vaseyi: a plant endemic to California.
Members of the carrot family, a few Eryngium species host larvae of the Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly, but blueflower eryngo isn’t one; other members of the genus are better choices for a butterfly garden.
That said, it’s an exceptionally pretty plant that thrives in a moist environment. Found in late summer to early fall in wet pinelands, savannahs, damp woods, and bogs, it’s said to prefer the same areas as pitcher plants and grass pink orchids. In fact, that’s where I found these: in the Big Thicket area of east Texas.