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Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!

  • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
  • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
  • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
  • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!

I was rather pleased with the impact of my Foxgloves and Cardoons (14th June) until I saw these monster Echiums in a pub garden by the sea in Dorset at the weekend.

These 5-metre towers of flowers are the giants of the blooming world. If you look at the last photo a 'tall' Foxglove is completely dwarfed. The Echium pinanana are getting on for three times as high; and a great trunk of flowers too.

We tried to grow Echium 'Pink Fountain' in our garden in Somerset last year. Despite the excellent summer the flowers didn't take off at all. Just not hot enough I guess.

I've seen them in flower in Cornwall, and in London at the Garden Museum, where it is several degrees warmer. How about other parts of the country?

I'd love to know if others have been successful. Share a photo if you can.

Comments (18)

  1. Grower

    The GPS Team

    GreenPlantSwap they have great Echiums at Portmeirion http://t.co/awCgeFMC2N— alison levey (papaver) June 22, 2015

  2. Grower

    The GPS Team

    GreenPlantSwap papaver Here's mine - I call them Triffids :) They 'arrived' last year! #absolutelylovethem! pic.twitter.com/i6GK5Hrq1h— Sam Smith (samhenleysmith) June 23, 2015

    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
  3. Grower

    FlorrieFernlyPerson

    They are successful in the Suffolk Sandlings. There are 3 gardens in the village where I live where they are blooming at the moment.

  4. Grower

    Those Plant People - Fern Cottage Nursery

    Hi, this one appeared as an interloper in a pot of unrelated seedlings. I recognised it and grew it on next to the house in our north facing, West Yorkshire, Keighley garden. It has white flowers and is over 5m long although about 2m lies along the ground, probably a result of planting it very close to the house. I gave it no special protection despite all the advice to the contrary and it has flourished despite being frozen limp for days at a time during the winter. I am hoping that at least some of the thousands of seed it is dropping everywhere will be as hardy as this mother plant. We hope to make the seed available for others to try if there is any interest.

    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
  5. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    How fascinating! I think what you have got is Echium pininana alba, or Echium 'Snow Tower', which is a rare, hardier variant, better suited to our climate. It's said to survive temperatures down to -5C and needs to get through two winters before flowering. The fact you've managed to grow yours in Yorkshire is testament to that!

    If it's OK with you, we'll create a new plant record with your photos. I'd love to try growing it here in Somerset.

  6. Grower

    Those Plant People - Fern Cottage Nursery

    I'm sure there will be a spare seed or fifty! Not sure how to go about swapping personal data (addresses etc?), we only just joined GPS today and are still sussing it all out. We have a brand new and very small nursery here in Yorkshire so perhaps we could add this one to our collection in time.

  7. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Well, welcome to GreenPlantSwap! What a great start - you have a very desirable plant!

    Best thing is to create a Grower page. You can do this by clicking on your name top right of this page (when logged in) and selecting 'Create Grower page'. There's a simple form to fill out ... and it's good to add photos.

    Once your page is published, other members can message you direct from the page; and you can message them from theirs.

    Good luck with the new nursery!

  8. Grower

    Johanna

    This is a picture of our 4 meter high Echium which is in bloom in our garden in the Netherlands. More than 15 years ago we were on holiday in Cornwall. We saw these plants growing in the wild and we wondered what it was. One day we passed a second hand bookshop and besides books the owner had seedlings of these plants for sale. We took them home and we tried to grow them. We raised the original plants to bloom and after that we have had plants from the seed of those plants. It was a lot of trouble in our climate. In and out the green house, in a pot, in full ground, we have tried everything. Sometimes we had a plant in bloom but it was never high as this one. Finally I gave up, it was too much trouble. But last summer I was weeding and I discovered a little Echium seedling! I took great care during winter. I covered it with plant fleece during cold nights, put dry leaves around the stem. It was about 80 cm. high. In spring it started to grow and now it is amazing! We enjoy it very much and so do all the insects.

    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
  9. Grower

    Johanna

    Hello Alya,
    I have covered about 1 m2 with a thick layer of dry leaves.
    When we grew Echium in a pot in the greenhouse we did not notice till next spring that the root was growing through the hole in the pot in the full ground. Echium does not like its roots to be moved so this was not a success.

  10. Grower

    Johanna

    I am sorry, I really do not know. I am very bad with computers.

  11. Grower

    The GPS Team

    Hi Alya - when you create a post you can correct it afterwards, but with comments on someone else's post we currently have it that you can only delete the whole thing and start again - there is no text edit function.

    The question is whether it is a good thing to have people edit comments within the flow of a discussion, which could then make a nonsense of the thread. This is something we might review at some point.

    So, for now, best to read through comments before you publish.

  12. Grower

    Alan Wardle

    I have grown Echium pininana here in southern England. They seed freely in my front North facing Garden...like weeds. That particular soil is quite fine and freely draining . I have thinned them out to 2 plants both about 2 feet tall at present. I grew them once in the front garden and the cold winter air damaged the top of the plant and I ended up with stump with a large bush on top with thousands of flowers. I grew one in my back/south facing very warm location in small raised flower bed and it grew to about 12 feet and flowered up until the end of September. Strangely the seeds did not come up in my back garden. the front garden seeds several hundred every year.

  13. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Hi Alan - I see you are on the South Coast, which is where I have seen most Echiums. Interesting what you say about fine, freely draining soil. We battle with clay here in Somerset. I will try again, but do more work on the soil in preparation. Thanks.

  14. Grower

    Alan Wardle

    Last years Echium. The bed you see it in sits on a concrete base. the top snapped in the wind as it was very fleshy and 2 main shoots appeared.

    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
  15. Grower

    Alan Wardle

    if you wrap it in a wigwam of cane and fleece to protect it from the cold winds it will get through winter.

  16. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Yes - I must build a better wigwam than last time which, on one of the coldest, wintry nights took off ... and the damage was no doubt done ;-(

  17. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    I finally grew an Echium. Whoopee! Not a huge one, but one that flowered nevertheless (the plant on the left - now a bit passed its best). And please ignore the weeds and lack of dead-heading - that bed is overdue!

    The Echium on the right (Pink fountain I think) is what has always happened before: some lovely big leaves, but no flowers. How have others got on this year?

    I am indebted to Robert Yeoman who gave me these plants when I visited his garden last summer. How have yours done Robert?

    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!
  18. Grower

    Paul & Valerie Guppy

    these were photographed at Upton House Poole a few years ago.

    • Hot news - the giant Echiums are back!

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