10 March 2014

Echium candicans

A butterfly can be seen feasting on the nectar of the Echium candicans

A close-up of the dense clusters of small deep blue flowers

The above photographs are of a plant called Echium candicans.  As you can see, this is a beautiful shrub like plant with dense clusters of gorgeously coloured small deep blue flowers.  It is known by the common name Pride of Madeira and is in the Boraginaceae family of plants.  It has dark green hairy lance shaped leaves.  Echium candicans also comes in white and pale blue colours as well as the deep blue coloured varieties.  It is said to be a good hardy plant which grows in well-drained soil in the full sun. Different sources on the internet refer to this plant as an annual, biennial and perennial and so not knowing precisely the duration of its growth and its biological life cycle I have included all three terminologies.

Echium candicans is cultivated in the horticulture trade and widely available throughout the world as an ornamental plant for traditional and drought tolerant water conserving gardens. It is particularly suitable for coastal planting, and is a popular ornamental in coastal California. With a minimum temperature requirement of 5–7 °C (41–45 °F), in frost-prone areas it needs some winter protection. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
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