This very hard to find native plant is very showy and interesting and has brilliant purple, alien-like flowers with tough, thorny leaves. Leavenworth’s eryngo is a prickly, 2 to 3 feet tall reseeding annual with a leafy stem, broadly branched in the upper portion and was named after its discoverer, Melines Conklin Leavenworth (1796–1862). Almost the entire plant has some shade of purple. A tuft of small, rigid, spiny leaves grows out of the top of the flower heads, resembling tiny purple pineapples.
Makes long-lasting fresh-cut flowers for the vase, and can be snipped off, turned upside-down, and hung to dry for dried flowers. Even though it looks like a thistle it is actually in the parsley family. Bee and Butterfly attracting. Thrives in full sun and just about any well-drained soil.