Echium wildpretii | Echium ‘Tower of Jewels’
Echium wildpretii‘s common name is Tower of Jewels, Wilpret’s Bugloss, or Red Mount Teide Bugloss, is an herbaceous biennial native to the Canary Islands, is an herbacious biennial and is one of the true beauties of the plant world.
Forms a rosette with narrow silver-gray leaves that spread to 2-3 ft wide the first year or two. Upon maturity, it sends up a single 5 to 7 foot tall spike in late spring, bearing hundreds of dark pink to reddish-magenta flowers in a dense terminal spike that appears to be one gigantic flower, or tower of jewels, for months on end! The flowers are so attractive to bumblebees that they never leave it, which makes us wonder if they ever go back home?
Each Echium plant is capable of producing thousands of seeds. Seeds will create volunteer plants. Echium wildpretii is more hardy than Echium pininana and is surprisingly well suited to milder, maritime areas. Plants can survive Zone 8 winters with HEATED protection. It is common for folks to move these plants into a greenhouse for the winter, or cover with plant blankets/fleece outdoors. They seem to fair well outdoors with protection, just as long as they have good drainage. Be sure to plant in full sun and very well-draining soil in wet temperate areas.
Echium Tower of Jewels holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit! This is without question, one of our favorite plants of all time.
Type: Biennial or triennial
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 6-7 ft
Mature Width: 18-24 inches
Hardiness zones: 8-11