Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pride of Madeira

Family: Boraginaceae

Origin: Native to the Canary Islands

Hardiness: Hardy in zones 9 and 10 only; best at coast
Growth: Rapid growth to 8 feet with wider spread
Form: Naturally a wide mound, but can be pruned to upright form
Leaves: Gray-green 8 inch narrow leaves at end of stems
Flowers: Blue to purple 1/2 flowers in long spikes in spring
Fruit or Seeds: Remove flower spikes when they fade
Exposure: Full sun; good at coast
Water: Weekly to monthly or none at all during summer
Soil: Well drained; grows in poor soil
Fertilizer: Fertilizer causes rapid growth and poor flowering
Prune: To shape and to expose branches
Problems: Snails; root rot if drainage is poor

Spectacular plant in coastal areas. Echium comes in a variety of rich blues and purples. Easily rooted from cuttings.