Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira' – it’s my favorite plant in the garden, this week…

On a recent walk through the garden I found myself doing that thing I dread doing, but do none-the-less. My eyes start to see the plants differently. The ones which are only marginally hardy start to have a sort “’enjoy me now, while you can” spotlight on them. Can you see it too?

Okay so that’s just the evening sun, but you know what I mean.

I picked up this Echium candicans 'Star of Madeira' (and a second) for a couple of bucks on clearance last fall. They were just tiny sticks in four inch containers and easily overwintered with a little protection. Both were planted out last spring, the one in the back garden bloomed and has grown, a lot. Here it is after planting...

And now...

The one in the front garden hasn’t gotten nearly the water and hasn’t grown much.

While I love to see these plants covered with the traditional blue flower spikes my main attraction to them is for the foliage…

However since none of these planted in my garden has ever lived through a winter (unlike in my co-plant luster Patricia’s garden) I have a feeling this beauty’s days are numbered. It was wonderful while it lasted (and besides I don’t have the room for it anyway, or so I'm telling myself)…

The stats:
  • evergreen shrub from the Madeira Islands (Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Morocco)
  • eventual height 4-6ft, width 6-8ft
  • hardy in USDA zones 9a-10b
  • likes fun sun and well drained soil, drought tolerant once established

What's caught your eye in your garden this week? Please share...

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

36 comments:

  1. Such a beauty, but I hate it because it's not cold-hardy. I'm still trying to figure out how to best get the wildpretii and russicum through the winter indoors. (I know russicum can probably stay outside, but I'm going to bring one inside just in case)

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  2. Is this the same one that Patricia brought to Jane's Open Garden this summer? I probably need to bring that in, right?

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    1. Nope, the ones she shared are Echium wildpretii and I have had luck with these outdoors in the ground. Since they are smaller they're easier to cover if the temperatures drop.

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  3. That's a very pretty Echium. It'll be too bad if you lose it to frost. Maybe you could over-winter a cutting?

    My contribution to your meme this week is a tree: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-favorite-plant-this-week-arbutus.html Thanks for hosting, Loree!

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    1. I suck at taking cuttings of this plant Kris. I've tried, I've failed. And I LOVE your fav...

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  4. I bought one of these from Cistus in April, planted up against the front of my south facing house. When the weather dips below 30, I'm going to cover it in plastic. Hoping for the best! Cistus has a huge potted specimen under their big top that's easily 6 feet tall. This is my favorite plant! Hoping for Patricia's luck and blooms next spring.

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    1. I love that specimen at Cistus. Have you ever noticed the difference in the variegation on that plant? In places it's shades of green, no white.

      Good luck with yours, and just an FYI if you haven't seen the KPTV forecast there are temps in the upper 20's predicted for next week.

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  5. Such a beautiful plant and very easy to fall in love with. Saw them in bloom at Cistus this spring and was sorely tempted. (Good reason to visit again this coming spring!) Yours sure look happy, especially the one in the back garden that got more water! Pretty impressive growth.

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  6. love it. going to try frost cloth. i've got 2 going out. i think jane maybe bought after i posted, or maybe they didn't have any more. i'm stuck with one handed typing, so no brilliant edit of my comments headed your way.

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  7. Such a beautiful plant, I can see why it's a favorite. While you're still celebrating summer, my pick is all about Autumn color: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/3443

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    1. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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  8. I like it...it wouldn´t live in my garden either, but I enjoy seeing it in your pictures!

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    1. I guess I will have my pictures to look back on, if it gives up the ghost...

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  9. I love both the variegated and non-variegated variety. My personal experience is that it's wet roots more than absolute temperatures that threaten its survival in the winter. If you keep it reasonable dry and in the sun, it might be OK.

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    1. The one in the front garden has the best chance of staying on the dry side...and it will get a lot of sun once the leaves fall from my (stupid) styrax. The one in the back is in shade a lot of the day now...

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  10. I think that every time I walk around the garden at this time of year...it's 70% enjoying everything, 30% thinking about what's about to disappear until next spring.

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    1. But being the "garden in your zone" guy that you are at least you can be assured yours will come back, right?

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  11. I like 'Star of Madeira' !
    However, it does not circulate and get in Japan..

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  12. Star of Madeira - still on my must acquire list, hopefully will get one next year. It's nice to spice the garden with a few plants that are only half hardy, treated as annual or who knows, if winter will be mild might sail through outside.

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    1. I had a nightmare last night that we were headed to 0F overnight. That would make a lot of my plants annuals. And me very sad.

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  13. What a shame you might lose this in winter. My fingers are crossed for you that it survives. It looks so happy! I love the painted type effect of the leaf pattern.

    Here's my favourite this week, thanks for hosting! Always great to be exposed to interesting new plants from yourself and everyone.
    http://crmbsgrdn.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/my-favourite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html

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    1. We shall see, first frost of the season comes out of the blue early next week.

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  14. I'm too in love with mine to think that it might not survive. I will totally buy it again, though. Such beautiful heartbreak!

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    1. You never know...maybe this winter will be just as lovely as last years? Or maybe you've got that magic combination of great soil and a little micro-climate...

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  15. Here's my favorite this week: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-favorite-plant-in-garden_24.html

    I combined it with Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.

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  16. 'Star of Madeira' looks like a beauty, but seems like one of those that grows into the category of monster plants eventually. My garden is too small for that, and I don’t think it would like my wet, cold winters, even if I garden in zone 9. Sometimes we can have frost lingering for a few days, some winters no frost at all. Thanks for sharing your photos and info, a star in your garden!

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    1. Ya it's one of those plants that can get huge in the right climate...but it sounds like both you and I are safe from that!

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  17. Pretty variegated leaves. I will have to look up the flowers. I notice an Eryngium in your second photo.;-P My favorite plant of the week is Berberis nervosa, native Cascade Oregon-grape. http://weedingonthewildside.blogspot.com/2013/10/wildflower-wednesday-berberis-nervosa.html

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  18. could I please ask where in the world you are growing this plant? I love echiums and grow a lot of them... would love to have a verigated variety! ;)

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    1. Portland, Oregon. They're all dead now, due to extreme cold in December.

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  19. AnonymousJune 07, 2014

    I live in zone 7, northern calif. What are the chances one will survive?

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