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Products > Echium wildpretii
Echium wildpretii - Tower of Jewels
Image of Echium wildpretii
[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 long dense terminal spike.

Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Hardy to 20-25 F. 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.

Echium wildpretii is native to volcanic slopes of Mount Teide on Tenerife Island in the Canary Islands where it is commonly found at elevations between 4,200 and 6,500 feet. 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 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. We have grown this plant since 2002 and it was the winner that same year of the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. 

This information about Echium wildpretii displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.