Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zone
Zones vary by species.
Full Sun
Full
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

ECHIUM

Boraginaceae
Perennials, Shrubs

Grown for striking form and flower clusters. All do well in dry, poor soil but need good drainage. All are excellent for seacoast gardens. Flowers attract bees. Give little or no water in mild-summer climates, weekly irrigation during summer in hotter areas.

Echium candicans
Echium candicans

Click to Enlarge

Echium candicans

From Madeira, as its common name indicates. Large, picturesque plant to 5–6 ft. tall, 6–10 ft. wide, with many coarse, heavy branches. Narrow, hairy, gray-green leaves form roundish, irregular mounds at ends of stems. Great spike-like clusters of 1/2 -in., bluish purple flowers stand out dramatically, well above foliage, in spring. Branch tips and developing flower spikes may be killed by late frosts.

Use for bold effects against walls, at back of wide flower borders, on slopes. Prune lightly to keep bushy. Cut off faded flower spikes.

Echium vulgare
Echium vulgare

Click to Enlarge

Echium vulgare

Biennial grown as annual. European native blooms first year if sown between early fall and earliest spring. To 1–3 ft. tall, 1 ft.wide. Leaves covered with stiff white bristles; blue, white, or pink flowers in spikelike clusters. Endures aridity, poor soil. Seeds freely and can become a pest if seedlings are not hoed out.

Echium wildpretii

Striking oddity fromthe Canary Islands spends itsfirst year as an attractive, roundish mass of long, narrow leaves covered with silvery gray hairs. It starts to grow the second year. By mid- or late spring, it forms a 6–10-ft.-tall column 1 ft. or more in diameter, made up of manylittle rose to rose-red flowers.When all flowers have faded, the plant dies, leaving behind many seeds. The resulting seedlings may grow and bloom the next year if they are not hoed out.

You Might Also Like...

Nerine

South African relatives of spider lily (Lycoris), which they closely resemble. Most have stra...

Crocus tommasinianus

This smal spring-flowering bulb produces slender buds that give rise to star-shaped, silvery lavender ...

Pritchardia

Complex genus; includes 19 native Hawaiian species and about 25 species restricted to various other tr...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement