ECHIUM PININANA 'BLUE STEEPLE'
This incredible plant initially produces a palm tree-like rosette, with large, thick, hairy leaves on a strong woody stem. This unusual plant is scientifically a 'triennial', and either 12 or 24 months after sowing, the centre, holding thousands of flowers, shoots upwards, sometimes to 15-20 feet! Bees love this giant, which, if you are lucky, will gently self-seed but never becomes a nuisance, as the seedlings are so visible and easy to pull up (if you have the heart)! Most plants will be deep blue although the odd variant colour may always appear.
Seeds are best sown in spring or before mid summer to enable a full season of growth and are best sown where actually needed, preferably in a well-drained and sheltered spot. Otherwise, sow seeds, covering very thinly, in early spring onto a good soil-based compost in a frost-free place. No artificial heat is needed to help germinate these seeds, just a cool, varying, background temperature, in good light. Seedlings usually appear in 2 to 3 weeks. Pot on into a gritty compost containing very little organic material before planting out as small plants in a well-drained sheltered spot, or a large container that may be taken in during the winter in severe frost. Plants usually flower 24 months after sowing and can occasionally vary in habit and flower colour as we have numerous species growing here, and very many busy bees....
Common name:Tower of jewels
Classification:Half hardy perennial
Seeds / gram:200 (Approx)