Well-known wildflower of coastal places, shingle and sandy beaches, this upright 50cm high perennial is easily identified by its blue-green, prickly, holly-like leaves. The plant is tinged with blue all over, even before the powder-blue flowers appear. These tiny blue flowers are held in dense, globular umbels and are backed by blue-tinged spiny leaflike bracts. They bloom from June to August. The broad leaves are leathery, stiff and have white margins and veins. This is not a typical plant of the Apiaceae family as its flowers are in a simple umbel only. It is a native plant.
I first identified this plant in 1977 in Derrynane, Co Kerry and I photographed it at Ballyteigue, Co Wexford in 2008.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre