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Echium pininana

Tree echium

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Key information

Plant type


Flower colour



Flowers, Dramatic foliage


Half hardy

Skill level


Echium pininana
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Plant details

Anybody who has been on holiday to the Canary Islands will have probably noticed the flower-heads of this plant growing out of the lush undergrowth. Echium pininana is a stunning plant for any sheltered border providing a tropical touch to the summer. In its first year echium forms a low rosette of silver, hairy, spear-like leaves. The following year it suddenly spurts into growth and produces a single 4m (13.1ft) high flower spike festooned with blue, funnel-shaped flowers. After flowering the plant dies, but not before scattering its seeds. In mild parts of the UK these may germinate where they land, but in colder areas seeds should be sown under glass in spring. Plants flower every second year, so sow seeds every year to ensure a continuous supply of blooms.

Family: Boraginaceae

Genus: Echium

Species: pininana

Plant type: Biennial

Flower colour: Blue

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers, Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 400cm

Spread: 90cm

Time to plant seeds: February to May

Reader reviews

Linda 19

Echium varieties are a magnet for bees. I grow Echium Pininana and other varieties here in the East Midlands. A good supplier is Echium World where you can buy amazing second year plants on line at

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