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Products > Echium wildpretii
Echium wildpretii - Tower of Jewels

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Origin: Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean)
Flower Color: Rose Pink
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [E. bourgaenum]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25° F
Echium wildpretii (Tower of Jewels) - Echium wildpretii is a rosette forming biennial from the Canary Islands with narrow silver-gray leaves that spread to about 2 feet wide. Upon maturity in the second spring it sends up a single 5 to 7 foot tall spike bearing the same attractive narrow foliage and by late spring this is topped by hundreds of dark pink to almost red flowers in a dense terminal spike. The flowers are attractive to bees and birds and should be allowed to mature fully so that seed is produced to perpetuate the plant in the garden. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Hardy to 20-25 F. The winner of the 2002 Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. The specific epithet honors Hermann Wilpret (1834-1908), the Curator of the Botanic Gardens at Oratava,Teneriffe (Jardín Botánico de la Orotava or just Botanico). Wilpret first sent the plant to Kew as Echium candicans but upon flowering in 1807 the differences were noted and it was named for him. Other common names include Red Bugloss or Wilpret's Bugloss. The genus name is from an ancient Greek word for the plant. It is derived from 'echion' with the root word 'echis' meaning "viper" but the reason for this has several interpretations. Included among these are the shape of the seed resembling that of a viper's head and from the age-old belief that Echium vulgare, a plant called Viper's Bugloss, was a remedy for the adder's bite.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Echium wildpretii.