Echium candicans L.f.

Pride of Madeira

Shrub 1-2 m tall with fine, whitish, bristly hairs. Leaves more or less lanceolate, to about 25 cm long, 2-4 cm wide and densely hairy, with veins prominent below. Flower clusters 10-25 cm long. Flowers blue to violet, often with a white stripe on each lobe. Stamens protruding, filaments pink. [E. fastuosum Ait.]


The taxonomy of this species is uncertain. Commonly cultivated plants in SE Australia have relatively short hairs on the lower leaf surface and exceptionally long flower spikes, mostly 20-30 cm long.These are probably hybrids (sometimes listed as E. ×fastuosum hort.) with E. candicans as one parent. Plants can be grown from seed, the offspring showing variable characters which indicates hybridisation. E. wildpretii Hook. f.,Triffid Plant, is a monocarpic shrub throwing up spectacular flower spikes to about 3 m tall after about 2 years and then dying. Other species are occasionally grown as ornamentals, but extreme caution is needed in view of the weed record of several species.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Boraginaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      [Boraginales]
family       Boraginaceae
genus        Echium L.