Echium candicans, commonly known as the Pride of Madeira or Echium ‘Pride of Madeira,’ is a captivating herbaceous biennial plant that commands attention with its striking appearance. Native to the enchanting island of Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean, Echium candicans belongs to the Boraginaceae family of plants. Its ability to withstand drought conditions makes it a resilient and sought-after addition to gardens worldwide.
This sub-shrub showcases lance-shaped leaves that are gray and covered in fine hairs, lending a silvery sheen to its foliage. In the first year of growth, Echium candicans forms a robust rosette of leaves, preparing for the grand display that awaits in subsequent years. During the second year and beyond, this remarkable plant sends forth tall stalks adorned with clusters of mesmerizing bluish-violet flowers, accompanied by rough-textured leaves. The vibrant blossoms, which emerge in spring and grace the landscape through the summer months, are a beacon for pollinators and a welcome sight for any garden enthusiast. With an impressive height potential of up to 2.5 meters or 8 feet, Echium candicans creates an awe-inspiring presence in the garden.
While Echium candicans is an evergreen plant, it has certain temperature limitations. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 7°C or 45°F but requires protection in colder regions during the winter season. It is important to safeguard the plant to ensure its longevity and vitality.
It is worth noting that Echium candicans has been labeled as an invasive species in certain regions, such as California, New Zealand, and Australia. However, its exceptional beauty and ornamental value have still made it a favored choice for gardens in many parts of the world, where it is cultivated responsibly.
How to grow Echium candicans:
If you wish to grow Echium candicans, providing it with suitable conditions is essential. This sun-loving plant thrives when planted in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Propagation is typically done through seeds, allowing you to witness the remarkable journey of this biennial wonder from its initial leafy rosette to its splendid flowering phase. Once established, Echium candicans require minimal pruning and is generally free from disease issues. However, vigilance is necessary to protect it from potential pests such as whiteflies, red spider mites, and vine weevils. The allure of Echium candicans extends beyond its visual appeal, as it also serves as a magnet for butterflies and bees, contributing to the overall ecological health and vitality of your garden.
By providing the right conditions and care, you can enjoy the captivating presence of Echium candicans, appreciating its remarkable adaptability and the natural harmony it brings to your outdoor space.
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