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Echium wildpretii (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)
Echium wildpretii (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)

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Zone
Zones 15-17, 21-24
Full Sun
Full
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Echium wildpretii

Tower of Jewels
Boraginaceae

ECHIUM

Grown for their 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 wildpretii

Striking oddity from the Canary Islands spends its first 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 many little rose to rose-red flowers. When all the 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.

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