Friday, October 24, 2008

A blue flowering plant

from w
The neighbours two doors down have a brightly flowering shrub in the front garden instead of a fence. Way to go! I did a pencil/pen sketch of it (might do colour later) and did a google search to identify it - took a bit to track it down until I just added things like long pointed leaves, cone shaped flowers, etc. Found out stuff as follows:
Echium aff. candicans
Common Name: Pride of Madeira
Family: Boraginaceae
Climatic Zone: Macaronesia, Madeira
Plant Type: Open, usually rounded woody based biennial shrub
Soil Type: Moderately fertile, well drained soil, full sun
Maximum Height: 1.5-2.5m
Propagation: Seed sown in summer
Flowering Period: Spring to Summer, deep purple blue to bluish white, the nectar of the flowers attract bees
Sun Exposure:Full Sun
Danger:Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Propagation Methods:From softwood cuttings
Seed Collecting:Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
For eleven months it’s a somewhat open, woody shrub with rosettes of long, narrow leaves, of a soft grayed green color. Then in spring it puts up cones of blue, lavender or magenta. The shape of the cones can be a little rounded towards the tip or fairly pointed. The plant can grow three to five or more feet tall, and twice as wide.

Many other species in the genus Echium are biennials. They put out a rosette of leaves one year, and bloom themselves to death the following year, often in a wild display of flowers. But candicans tends to be much more long-lived, is well adapted to Mediterranean climates down to zone 9 and doesn’t require much water.

BUT a cousin of this plant is a cursed weed in Australia as it infests farming land. Might look pretty but it ain’t useful at all!
Paterson's curse, Echium plantagineum!

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Blogger Um Naief said...

aaahhh, it's so beautiful!! How I'd love to have some bushes in our yard that looked like that. Even the weed is beautiful, but I can imagine the pain.

11:19 AM  

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