It hasn't been easy to survive as a sea holly plant in the Netherlands. Being so decorative, it was first threatened by (hobby) flower arrangers that picked too many flowers. No flowers, no seeds, no new plants. Furthermore, its habitat is now being threatened by dune fixation. It has become a rare plant and is now legally protected. The blue-green color of the leaf comes from a waxy layer which protects the plant from dehydration. Sea holly attracts butterflies, particularly the peacock butterfly and the Queen of Spain fritillary.