Echium pininana

Echium pininana

Giant viper's bugloss

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Flowers
Flowers
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Yes
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Yes

Key Information

  • Botanical name: Echium pininana
  • Common name: Giant viper's bugloss
  • Plant type: Perennial

Height: 1.8m

Spread: 90cm

Flower colour:
  • Blue
Foliage colour:
  • Green
  • Features: Attractive to wildlife, Flowers

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Echium pininana is a stunning biennial plant from the Canary Islands. In its first year it forms a low rosette of silver, hairy, spear-like leaves, and then in the second year it sends up a huge spike loaded with small blue flowers. It makes a dramatic statement in a sunny, sheltered garden, and is extremely attractive to bees.

After flowering, Echium pininana scatters seed and dies. It self-seeds readily in mild, sheltered parts of the UK, but seed is unlikely to germinate in cooler regions. It has been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society.

Position

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Aspect: South facing, West facing
  • Position in border: Back
  • Hardiness: Half hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained/light/sandy

Wildlife

Attracts:
  • Bees

  • Beneficial insects

  • Birds

  • Butterflies / Moths

  • Other pollinators

  • Wildlife features: Nectar/pollen rich flowers

Care routine

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sow
Sow
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Yes
Yes
Yes
Plant
Plant
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Yes

Toxicity

Toxic to:
  • People

  • Cats

  • Dogs

  • Birds

  • Horses

  • Livestock

  • Effects: Purgative if ingested

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