Echium candicans
Common Name: pride of Madeira 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Boraginaceae
Native Range: Madeira
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 5.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to August
Bloom Description: Bluish purple to white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Birds, Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil

Culture

Best grown outdoors in moderately fertile, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates temperatures to as low as 20-25 degrees F. Tolerates average soils. As a biennial, this plant will produce a basal clump of foliage the first year from which rise flowering spikes in the second year. It will easily remain in the landscape by self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Echium candicans, commonly known as Pride of Madeira, is an evergreen, mounding, rapid-growing, biennial or short-lived perennial subshrub that typically matures to 5-6’ tall spreading to 6-10’ wide. It is endemic to the island of Madiera where it grows on rocky cliffs and terraces in the Central Mountain Massif at elevations ranging from 2,500’ to 4,600’. It is a shrubby spreading plant that has escaped cultivation and naturalized in a number of areas around the world where it has been introduced, including parts of southern California where it is now listed as an invasive plant in some locations. In the first year, each plant produces a basal rosette of prominently veined, narrow, lanceolate to elliptic, hairy gray-green leaves (each to 6-10” long). In the second year, woody, unbranched, spire-like flowering stalks rise above the foliage rosette to 20” tall, each stalk bearing from late spring through summer showy cylindrical terminal panicles (to 12” long) of small but abundant narrow bluish-purple to white flowers with protruding reddish stamens. Flowers give way to nutlets.

E. fastuosum is a synonym.

Echium is the Greek name for this plant. It is derived from echis which means viper in reference to (a) the nutlet shape which resembles the head of a viper and (b) the ancient medicinal use of the plant root as a treatment for snakebite.

Specific epithet means shining or wooly white.

Problems

No known serious insect or disease problems. Slugs may appear on outdoor plants. Indoor plants are susceptible to spider mites and whiteflies.

Garden Uses

Borders. Cottage gardens, wild gardens, slopes, hillsides, and informal naturalized areas.