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Products > Echium simplex
Echium simplex - White Tower of Jewels

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Origin: Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 4-8 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Echium simplex (White Tower of Jewells) A large perennial, biennial or sometimes a triennial (going 3 years) that has attractive silvery gray-green leaves that are covered in smooth hairs above and prominently veined below and are held in tight rosettes atop a short stem. After 2 to 3 years as an attractive foliage plant, emerges a stout solitary unbranched and tapering inflorescence that rises vertically 4 to 9 feet or more in late winter to mid spring bearing small white flowers densely held the entire length. Plant in full sun and irrigate very little - it is a drought tolerant plant. Hardy to 20 to 25 F. A great foliage plant with the added bonus of unusual flowers and though the main plant dies after flowering it perpetuates itself in the garden by seedling about. Attractive also as an unusual container plant and when it flowers is attractive and hummingbirds and to bees, which then reportedly produce a very distinctively flavored honey. This plant comes from the mountainous Anaga region in the north-east of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. 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 is a Latin word meaning "simple" or "unbranched" in reference to the solitary unbranched inflorescence. Like the red flowering Echium wildpretii, this plant is also called Tower of Jewells and also The Pride Of Tenerife and Arrebol Tajinaste. Our thanks to Matthew Roberts, our Southern California outside salesman, who patiently allowed his plant linger on past its prime in his garden so he could share its seed with us.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in the nursery, in the nursery's garden, and in other gardens where it has been observed. We also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing  Echium simplex.