Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

Echium gentianoides

Loads of blue!  Echium gentianoides is a very rare gem from the island of La Palma of the Canary Islands.  It's difficult to capture the color in photographs, but the deep, sky-blue flowers are truly beautiful.  This is a perennial species that blooms year after year, unlike some Echiums.  Unfortunately the plant is endangered in the wild, and rarely seen in cultivation.

Echium gentianoides

Echium gentianoides is a woody bush in the Borage family with a wide, branching habit.  It grows about 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide if left unpruned.  When it's not blooming, the plant somewhat resembles a Euphorbia.  Its bluish-green leaves have an attractive white streak that almost makes them look variegated.  The leaves lack the bristly, irritating hairs found on many Echium species.  Throughout the spring, the plant puts on its show of countless blue flowers, which start off as pink buds.  When fully open, they are practically true blue.  The inch-long, tubular blooms are a favorite of bees and butterflies.  Many Echiums only flower once and then die, however this species blooms well for quite a few years.

True Blue Echium gentianoides

The plant comes from mountainous areas where the climate is cool and arid, similar to San Francisco in the summer.  It has handled temperatures in the 80s (30C), but i believe that cooler nights (below 65F/18C) are required for it to flower.  I don't know if it will thrive in consistently warm areas like Florida.  It is reported to take winter temperatures down to 20 F (-6C), but i recommend protecting it from hard frosts.  Grow it in a sandy/rocky soil mix that is low in humus and fertilizer.  It doesn't need much watering once established, but it can handle regular watering if grown in fast-draining soil.  It enjoys sun, although some afternoon shade might be needed in warmer areas.  If grown in a pot, it should be at least 10 gallons (40 liters) to accommodate its deep root system.

Echium gentianoides

This is a single plant!

Check availability

 

Germination tips are here

 

Photo #1 courtesy of Harald Berger

 

Home

Strange Wonderful Things

Rare and exotic plants & seeds

Turquoise Puya

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