Garden blogs

Fascination of Plants Day 2: Echium pininana

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At over 5m tall, this giant of the plant world is fast becoming a British gardeners’ favourite.

British holidaymakers, desperate for a hit of winter sun, may well come across large echiums like this in its native Canary Islands. Here, it thrives on the wild volcanic slopes as well as private and public gardens. Pollinators love it too, beginning from the bottom where its flowers first appear.

Known in English as the giant viper’s bugloss, you can find this in the Canary Islands section of our Great Glasshouse but you may be able to grow this at home. Possibly because of climate change, this biennial is becoming more resilient to British winters.

If you come to the Fascination of Plants Walk on 18th May, you’ll hear how to grow this natural wonder.

This is one of 7 fascinating plants that will be featured on the Fascination of Plants Day guided walk on 18th May. Led by Bruce Langridge and the Garden’s curator Will Ritchie, the walk will begin at the Western entrance to the Great Glasshouse at 2pm.