Members of the Echium genus tend to be half hardy perennials or hardy biennials, but are usually grown as hardy annuals in the garden (as they are short lived).
They are shrub-like in nature and carry brush like flowers of blue, or cup shaped pink flowers (depending on the species) in the summer.
Common names for Echium include Viper's bugloss and Pride of Madeira.
They reach a height of between 30cm and 1.2 m, this makes them ideal edging or border plants.
Echium auberianum - Aubers bugloss by Jörg Hempel.
Common Names: Viper's Bugloss, Patterson's Curse, Pateroi, Pride of Madeira, Tree Echium.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial. Hardy biennial. Often grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 48 to 96 inches (120 to 240 cm).
Native: Europe, North Africa.
Viper's bugloss and other Echium members should be sown at a depth of 7mm in the spring. Viper's bugloss prefer to be grown in an area that is sunny and has good drainage.
Ideally the pH that Viper's bugloss grows in should not be rich and have a pH of 6.5 to 7.
If you first plan to grow Viper's bugloss indoors then they should be prepared about six to seven weeks before they are due to be put outdoors in the middle of spring.
It takes from one to three weeks for the seeds of Viper's bugloss to germinate at a temperature of 15 to 21 degrees Celsius.
Once ready, they should be transplanted into the garden at a spacing of about 20 cm (small varieties) or 50cm (large).
Viper's Bugloss is easy to look after; they require to be watered during prolonged dry spells. Echium species should be dead headed to stop them scattering seeds as they may take over the garden otherwise.
The Echium genus contains about 60 species.
Yes, Echium, particularly Tower of Jewels, makes a dramatic addition to a garden with its towering flower spikes.
Echium wildpretii (Tower of Jewels) and Echium vulgare (Viper's Bugloss) are often grown by gardeners.
While not typically noted for their fragrance, some species of Echium have a slight scent.
Echium plants thrive in full sun and well-drained soil.
Currently, Echium vulgare is considered invasive in certain areas of the western United States.
Echium can be removed by uprooting the entire plant, making sure to get all roots to prevent regrowth.
The Echium genus consists of flowering plants native to North Africa, mainland Europe, and the Canary Islands. These biennial or perennial plants are appreciated for their stunning spikes of flowers, with species like Echium wildpretii producing towers of red blooms.
Echium plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds sown in spring or autumn. Despite their tropical origins, many species are surprisingly frost hardy. Their tall flower spikes make them excellent choices for adding height to borders. Be aware, some species can self-seed aggressively and may become invasive.