Echium candicans (fastuosum)

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Description

Echium candicans known as the ‘Pride of Madeira’ in its native Madeira is a beautiful short lived shrub producing amazing spikes of pale blue flowers up to 60cm long from late spring into summer. The evergreen foliage is a pale grey green, lanceolate and covered in tiny hairs which in wild protect the leaves from wind and salty air. Often described as a biennial from my experience Echium candicans can grow for many years in a sheltered sunny position given protection from frost in winter. It forms a multi-stemmed small shrub up to around 1.20cm high and can produce 8 or more flower spikes a year. The flowers must produce a bountiful supply of nectar as they attractive bees and butterflies.

In summary, and attractive evergreen mediterranean small shrub with nice leaves and impressive flowers that is not particularly tolerant of freezing but tolerates light frost and copes with wind, coastal conditions and can easily be grown in a container and brought undercover during the worst of winter.

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