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These long-spined sea urchins, known collectively in Hawaiian as wana (pronounced “vah-na”), are found on reef flats and shallow reef slopes, where they are often wedged into crevices in the coral framework. Well-protected from nearly all reef predators, their calcite limestone skeleton, or test, bears two kinds of moveable spines, some up to six inches long. Both the longer, primary spines (which are hollow) and the smaller, secondary spines are brittle and break off after puncturing the skin. The smaller spines bear toxin-producing tissue, and contact with them causes burning pain in the wound. Light-sensitive nerves in the urchins’ skin detect the shadows of potential predators and the spines can be coordinated and directed toward the threat. The spines are attached to the skeleton by skin and muscle tissue and do not easily detach. Even light contact with the spines may result in puncture wounds from the spines, but the urchins cannot shoot their spines.The sting caused by the secondary spines is best treated by soaking in hot water to help deactivate the protein toxins, or by soaking in vinegar to help dissolve the spines. Removal of the brittle spines is often unsuccessful since they fracture into small pieces. Left alone, the spines may be gradually absorbed by human tissues – but urchin spine wounds and stings may require a doctor’s care to assure that infection or encapsulation of the spine does not cause permanent damage.The flowers are hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs) and are pollinated by a wide range of insects.The plant grows up to 60cm tall and can be quite bushy.If you have ever dressed as a ghost before, you will have found the sheet keeps falling off causing trips. Less dangerous, more amusing (and not really that sexy! It is as if it needs holding in place by something… Sea holly is still common, though thinly spread plant along favourable areas of the Norfolk coastline, and some indicators suggest a slow extension of its range.

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If you are looking for new ways to make friends, this unisex costume is it!It’s quite easy to while away a day meandering among sheltered glades of tree ferns or strolling along sunny terraces, gazing out across the borders to the ocean views beyond.Even non-gardeners cannot fail but wonder at the array of scents, sights and sounds that await around every corner.The Norfolk Biodiveristy Action Plan, comprises Habitat Action Plan (HAP) and Species Action Plans (SAP), one of which is titled ' Coastal Sand Dunes', this HAP plan recognises the need to put measures in place to protect the existing habitat and where possible enhance or expand this precious resource. In Elizabethan times the candied roots of the plant were believed to be a strong aphrodisiac.They were cited in Shakespear’s play ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ in a speech by Falstaff. Let the sky rain potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of ‘Green Sleeves;’ hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes (sea holly); let there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here....

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