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Echium pininana (Giant viper's bugloss)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
3m
Max height
0.9m
Max spread
2 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Echium pininana

Other names

Echium pinnifolium, Giant viper's bugloss, Tower of jewels, Tree echium

Genus

Echium Echium

Species

E. pininana - E. pininana is a biennial, producing a low rosette of silvery-green, lance-shaped leaves in its first year. In its second year, it bears large spires, up to 30cm, of blue flowers on stout stems.


Echium pininana is: Evergreen

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Severe discomfort may result if any part of the plant is ingested. Foliage may cause skin irritation.

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Blue in Summer

Foliage

Green, Silvery-grey in Spring; Silvery-grey, Green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Slugs , Glasshouse whitefly , Vine weevil Slugs , Glasshouse whitefly , Vine weevil

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Echium pininana (Giant viper's bugloss) will reach a height of 3m and a spread of 0.9m after 2 years.

Suggested uses

Cottage/Informal, Coastal, City, Beds and borders, Low Maintenance, Wallside and trellises, Wildlife

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid excessive winter wet. Protect with horticultural fleece in autumn. Scientifically classed as a 'triennial' since it typically lives for three years, flowering 1-2 years after sowing.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor unheated (H2), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Echium pininana

Other names

Echium pinnifolium, Giant viper's bugloss, Tower of jewels, Tree echium

Genus

Echium Echium

Species

E. pininana - E. pininana is a biennial, producing a low rosette of silvery-green, lance-shaped leaves in its first year. In its second year, it bears large spires, up to 30cm, of blue flowers on stout stems.

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Severe discomfort may result if any part of the plant is ingested. Foliage may cause skin irritation.

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Blue in Summer

Foliage

Green, Silvery-grey in Spring; Silvery-grey, Green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Slugs , Glasshouse whitefly , Vine weevil

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Echium pininana (Giant viper's bugloss) will reach a height of 3m and a spread of 0.9m after 2 years.

Suggested uses

Cottage/Informal, Coastal, City, Beds and borders, Low Maintenance, Wallside and trellises, Wildlife

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid excessive winter wet. Protect with horticultural fleece in autumn. Scientifically classed as a 'triennial' since it typically lives for three years, flowering 1-2 years after sowing.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor unheated (H2), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8

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growing rapidly

Echium pininana flowering stages starting (15/04/2012)

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Indoor unheated (H2), Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Beautiful!

What a stunning plant! full of blue flowers on 4 stems when first bought, but flowers soon died after a few frosts. However, after removing the dead flower heads, a few weeks later in June its began… read more

Echium pininana

This relative of the native viper's bugloss is only just hardy in most parts of the country but makes a very dramatic addition to a sunny border with its huge spikes of flowers which offer pollen and… read more

There are 10 active discussions about Echium pininana (Giant viper's bugloss)

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ARTICLES WITH THIS PLANT

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By garden designer Darren Hawkes. The pioneering charity Maggie’s whose groundbreaking Cancer Caring Centres have revolutionised the concept of therapeutic gardens, is bringing its first Show… read more

View all 9 articles


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