A Coastal Giant

For the past few weeks I have been extremely fascinated with this gigantic coastal plant. I first stumbled across it in Howth but have since seen it in Wexford and Cork.

Echium pininana2I think you will agree with me when I say it is a giant! It can reach over 4 meters tall and I’d say the plants I have seen are not too far off this height! It was only after my trip to Cork that I learnt it’s name, thanks to a well placed name tag in Fota House and Gardens. Echium pininana or more commonly called Tree Echium, is a plant native to the Canary Islands but is increasingly grown in both Great Britain and Ireland. It is a biennial plant or even in some places a triennial so does take a while to enjoy its flowers, luckily the young plant is quiet striking.

Echium pininana

I don’t think it would be a bad addition to a flower border and I would personally love one or two in my own garden. Unfortunately it is generally only found in coastal areas and I don’t think would survive in the midlands where I live! This is very heart-breaking as I love the small dusky blue flowers that appear on large spikes as the plant matures and how it self seeds to appear in large clumps in later years.

Echium pininana3I guess I will have to visit the coast more often to enjoy this gigantic beauty!! Have you come across it in your travels?