The plant of the week this week is the magnificent and gentle giant the Echium pininana also know commonly as the tree echium or giant viper’s-bugloss.
This is a favourite summer/late summer flowering plant.
This exotic is native to the Canary Islands but has a big following in the south of the UK and London. I have many memories walking around Stepney Green in East London and seeing the huge flowering heads of the echium towering over the tops of the dark brick Georgian garden walls. They are also commonly seen in gardens throughout Pembrokeshire, Cronwall, Devon and the Isle of wight.
Awarded the RHS AGM award showing despite its exotic looks used in suitable conditions it can perfectly grow in the UK. They thrive best in sunny sheltered spots. The evergreen foliage may need protecting in harsh frosts. The flowers are also a firm favourite for bees, and you can always see a dozen or so on these plants at any one time.
Ultimate height: 2.5-4 metres
Ultimate spread: 0.5-1 metres
Time to ultimate height: 1-2 years