Synonymously known as Echium fastuosum ‘Pride of Madeira’, from the ‘Forget-me-not’ or Borage family, Boraginaceae. Native to the Madeira Islands - north of the Canary Islands, these handsome perennials thrive in both coastal regions as well as inland. If growing along the coast it requires no summer water once established, if grown in hot inland areas, give occasional summer water and protect from hard frosts.
Echium c. is an excellent foundation shrub that grows in a multi-branching dome shape with narrow gray- green leaves and magnificent 20 inch long, conical shaped flower stalks that are covered in ½ inch iridescent bluish-purple flowers. These brilliant flower stalks can be spotted from quite a distance and bloom spring through summer, much to the delight of the local bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
When the bloom cycle has completed, prune off the stalks at the base to maintain a tidy look. In late autumn prune the entire shrub to encourage new spring growth. Be aware that the foliage of Echium c. can cause skin irritation in some people, so it’s best to wear gloves when pruning. This perennial grows 5-6 feet tall x 6-10 feet wide. It is tolerant of poor, rocky soils and is ideal for low maintenance, water-wise, and deer resistant gardens. It is cold hardy to 25-30°, and the Sunset Climate Zones are 14-24. We are currently growing Echium candicans ‘Pride of Madeira’ in 5 gallon containers.