Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

This is an Echium (I don’t know which species), a large, towering flower related to borage that is so prolific around San Francisco you can’t seem to turn a corner without bumping into one. I must have taken several dozen photos in a variety of media (digital, polaroid, film, macro) as evidence. Another plant thoroughly documented and recorded.

My attraction to this plant lies in the fact that it reminds me of one of my favourite local wildflowers Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare), which is not surprising since they are in the same genus. These enormous San Francisco echiums are basically monster-sized versions of the same plant.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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2 thoughts on “Echium

  1. It’s most likely E. candicans aka Pride of Madeira, the most commonly planted Echium here in CA. My favorite Echium is E. wildpretii, aka Tower of Jewels. It’s a biennial; the first year the foliage is rather unremarkable — gray and low to the ground. The second year the plant blooms and the flower spike can be 7-8′ tall, covered with coral flowers fading to purple. The bees love it. In my garden it reseeds and grows each year. Spectacular, especially when planted in a border!

  2. I would love this plant, I have looked for it locally and it is just not available. I cannot find seeds for this plant, it is supposed to be an easy reseeder. I think this would be very dramatic as I have a large garden, but I need more height. Do you know where it is available? I am in Zone 8b. Thanks!

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