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