Sea holly (Eryngium maritimum) is one of the most striking of the dune plants. And one of the most prickly. It used to be widely used in medicine and as candies. It was considered an aphrodisiac and a cure for many ailments including, according to Culpeper, “melancholy of the heart”:)
The sea hollies are just coming into flower on the dunes at Newborough. They are incredibly structural plants. In winter most of the above ground parts of the plant will die back to leave their spiky skeletons that will stand through the winter.