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Echiums

Blog

This page gives people a view into our daily lives living in the west of Ireland. It includes posts about our projects in the ceramic studio as well as projects in the garden, home and kitchen. 

 

Echiums

Alexis Bowman

Echiums belongs to the Boraginaceae family which include other plants like Borage & Comfrey.  We love them because they bring height and colour into the garden and also because they give our bees lots of nectar. The tall Echium pininana - know as tree echium or giant vipers bugloss - is native to the Canary Islands and is a biennial.

 Echium pininana in its second year.

Echium pininana in its second year.

In the first year they reach around 3 feet, forming a strong trunk with a display of foliage. In the following spring they send up a huge tall column of flowers which lasts for many months. While they are making their reach for the sky they often get hit by some strong winds. A little support goes a long way. 

They tend to self seed effectively in dry gravely areas of the garden. I bought my first seed from Seedaholic.com.

In the early spring when they are making their reach for the sky they often get hit by some strong winds. A little support goes a long way.

 Blue Echium vulgare

Blue Echium vulgare

A much smaller variety is Echium vulgare - know as vipers Bugloss - which is native to most of Europe and acts like an annual here in Ireland. It produces a very high concentration of nectar and so it is one of the best plants to attract bees to your garden. I have a blue and a white variety. Every year I collect their seeds and sow them again the following spring with no fuss. 

 White Echium vulgare with Mother of Pearl Poppies.

White Echium vulgare with Mother of Pearl Poppies.

This year I have sown two more varieties - Echium Russicum https://www.seedaholic.com/echium-russicum.html and Echium Red Bugloss .