Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Echium wildpretii

The Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco are home to many terrific, exotic plants.  Echium wildpretii - the Tower of Jewels - is a rare beauty with a stunning 6 to 9 foot tower of flowers!  The massive stalk contains hundreds of blooms in eye-opening cerise-pink, which attract birds and bees all spring.  This is a real showpiece plant to put right in the center of your garden!

Echium wildpretii

The Tower of Jewels is a biennial species which flowers in its second year.  The first year it's a short plant with a rosette of fuzzy, silvery foliage.  The sliver color helps reflect the strong sun of its mountain habitat.  In spring of the 2nd year it suddenly explodes with growth, sending up its impressive spike.  The blooms are grouped in clusters which open in waves, for a long show of color.  This vivid shade is quite unique for Echiums.  Each 5-petaled bloom is tipped with white anthers, which make the "jewels" sparkle!  The plant usually dies after flowering, leaving behind many seeds.  This was an endangered species not long ago, but it's making a comeback on the Canary Islands thanks to efforts to save it.

Echium wildpretii

The Tower of Jewels comes from a climate that is warm and arid in the summer and cool but frost-free in winter.  It is said to tolerate heat well, but it cannot take much frost.  It's reported to handle the mid to low-20s if given overhead protection and kept dry.  It grows well in a large pot, but ensure that it cannot tip over.  It needs fast-draining, rocky soil, such as cactus soil.  It doesn't like lots of water or fertilizer, but avoid letting the soil get bone dry if you grow it in a container.

Echium wildpretii

Check availability

 

Photo #1 by Jose Mesa

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants

Turquoise Puya

Entire site Copyright 2003-2017 by Strange Wonderful Things, except as noted