Little flowers on a big plant

While I can’t say that I live anywhere exotic or tropical and lush, I would say that where I live is someplace that can come pretty close with a little bit cultivation. Things don’t look very good here in my garden during the winter, but come spring everything changes. Take for instance my echiums. At best, they are unassuming lumps of hairy foliage in January.  At worst, they die.

Halfway through spring, they have rebounded from their winter blues and are reaching for the sky. By now they have all been blooming for a while, too.

Echium russicum x wildpretii seems to twist and turn it’s bloom spike as if looking for something…

This year marks the first attempt for a new echium. It is a hybrid of E pininana and E wildpretii, courtesy of a local nursery. It started off looking like pininana, with large strappy leaves. When is started to think about blooming (remember this post?) I was very curious to see how big it would get.

Echium pininana x wildpretii has gotten huge! The top of the arbor is 8 feet, and the echium looks like it has a little ways to go before it stops. 10 feet easily, but I’m guessing maybe 11 feet ultimately.

As you can see, the color on the blooms changes as you look higher up the stalk. I’ve noticed that all of the spent blooms on the ground underneath the echium are strictly blue, and the newly opened buds are very much red and purple. Surprises are nice sometimes!

While the tree dahlia to the left will be master of the garden in summer and fall, for now the echiums reign supreme. I think the grape vine should do a nice job of keeping the bloom spike upright, should we have any freak winds.

I don’t know how many seeds I’ll be able to get off of the 2 hybrids I have, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to have a few more started next year. It is really too bad that they are biennials. I could use some spring interest like this every year!

7 thoughts on “Little flowers on a big plant

      1. Well then it’s from my garden! I gave the seeds to Sean. Both species were blooming as the same time and he thought something interesting might come of it.

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