A young Blue Steeple Echium in a 10cm pot. Will grow to a fair size over the summer and will probably flower next year with winter protection.
This incredible plant initially produces a palm tree-like rosette, with large, thick, hairy leaves on a strong woody stem. TIt has thousands of Blue flowers, shoots upwards, sometimes to 15-20 feet! Bees go crazy for this plant!!
Echium pininana, also called tree echium, pine echium and giant viper's-bugloss, is a species of flowering plant in the borage family Boraginaceae, native to La Palma in the Canary Islands, that is now cultivated in gardens of Britain and Ireland. It has naturalized along the northern California coast in San Mateo and Mendocino Counties. Its native habitat is laurel forests, where it is now endangered through habitat loss.
Echium pininana is a biennial or triennial, showing little more than leaf in the first year, but subsequently produces a dense, 4 metres (13 ft) high (potentially) flower spike that carries a dense mass of leaves and small blue flowers.
The recommendation is that the plant is suited for the southern maritime counties of England. There are, however, reports of successful cultivation in the English Midlands and Yorkshire, albeit in favourable locations. Specimens are also grown in Dublin gardens and in the Irish National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin. Although E. pininana is half-hardy in Britain and Ireland, it mightwill self-seed to form clusters of plants, and it is suggested that by natural selection a hardier variety will emerge. The plant also grows readily in North Wales where it seeds very widely. It is bi- or even triennial and most vulnerable to frosts in its first year. Because of its large leaves when partly grown, it is also very susceptible to wind damage. Hence a sheltered garden position is essential.
This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Echium Pininana 'Blue Steeple'
Plant out as small plants in a well-drained sheltered spot, or a large container that may be taken in during the winter in severe frost.