Echium: 'Pride of Madeira' in bloom

grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)May 30, 2011

Hi everyone,

I've been enjoying the beautiful blue blooms on this plant for over three months now, so I thought I'd share a couple of pictures of it. It's good old "pride of Maderia" (usually listed as Echium candicans) which I've been growing in my garden for three years. You see it all over southern California in bloom in late winter/early spring, so it's not super unusual at all, although I haven't seen many (any) in the Phoenix area long-term (just small ones for sale). I hope you'll take a look and enjoy the pics.

I bought it as a single small rosette of foliage, about 6 inches across, three years ago. I really didn't think it would survive our long hot summers, but with water twice a week in hot weather it's done really, really well and is now probably four feet tall and six feet across. I'm hoping it will set a bunch of seed so I'll have some to share. The individual flowers are small, each about the size of a lobelia bloom, but there are literally hundreds and hundreds of them for months, with each flower cluster expanding to one or two feet in height.

If you're growing it too with long term success, please share!

Take care,


Here is a link that might be useful: My little garden blog, couple of posts a month

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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Looks like it IS setting seeds, so I'm excited to see if I can plant them and get some babies. I took a few stem cuttings about a month ago and plopped them in a jar of water. They look as fresh and vigorous as the day I put them in the water, but no signs of roots. This is such a fun plant I need more, more more!

Take care,

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 1:27PM
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Looks great, Grant!

How much sunlight does he get? Full or partial? It likes kind of shrubby...does it get super-large?

I like that you try to grow things that aren't so common here in Phoenix. I really think the palette of flowering plants we use here could be expanded, without getting extravagant with water usage. The key thing seems to be to find other desert/dry-loving plants from other regions, even countries(as long as they're not invasive or harmful).

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Hi Grant -- it looks great, and thanks for linking to your blog. :-)


    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 2:05AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Thanks for the comments! Xica, it gets full bore full sun all day every day. Amazing. I water it two or three times a week in summer and then once every week to ten days in winter. It's done great for three years now. It DOES get pretty large. The little rosette is now a 3 foot tall shrub that's probably 4 or 5 feet across. I love it, although if I had known it would get as large as it is I would have tried a different spot for it, but as it is I'm leaving it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right??

I agree it's fun to see what sort of new-ish plants we can grow here. I also agree that focusing on low water plants is best. In Southern California these plants thrive with very little irrigation, which is why I wanted to give it a try here. I've got a few fun Grevilleas growing and blooming too, another low-water staple from So Cal.

Of course, for every success like this Pride of Madeira, I have three or four disasters that melt in summer, or winter, or never grow at all, LOL, but it's fun to experiment a bit, as long as the bulk of a garden is composed of work horse plants that love it here.

Thanks to folks who looked at or commented on the pics. I'm going to harvest some seeds in the next week or so and see if I can get some seedlings. I'll try again in autumn too when it's easier to keep seedlings going outside.

Take care all,

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:56PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

Hey grant, how is this plant doing now? I just found out about this plant while I'm browsing around for landscape ideas and decided to search for it here and look who i find that grows it lol! Would love to try this in my yard. Do you know of any local nurseries that sell it?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 2:34PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hiya Raimeken and all, this plant is STILL a performer! Well, not this specific plant as they tend to die out after several years, but it and its offspring have self-sown around the garden and have done GREAT. Several bloomed again this early summer, and there are lots of seedlings and youngsters around the garden too. I think they're GREAT, just expect them to look pretty tired in summer (loss of lower leaves, slightly wilted foliage) but they really perk up in autumn and look great again by early winter (and the leaves ARE bristly and when dry the bristles can embed themselves in your skin, so wear gloves when stripping off or picking up dried/browned foliage (turns gray actually, LOL).

I saw some five gallon pots of Echium (not sure of their species) at Home Depot early this summer--they may have some. If not, I can send you a couple of young seedlings from mine this autumn when it cools off. I really really like them. Just barely keep them alive in summer--too much watering will kill them quickly in summer.

Let us know if you find some, or just email me if you want some of mine ( Love them!

Happy gardening!

Here is a link that might be useful: Blooms from my garden, July 2014

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:13PM
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mingtea(z9 Tucson)

I think your next one should be E. wildpretii!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

thanks Grant! I'll keep an eye out next time I go to the big box stores.

mingtea, thanks for that suggestion! That plant looks amazing! I'm definitely looking into that plant as well

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:27PM
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