Echium Species, Pride of Madeira

Echium candicans

Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Echium (EK-ee-um) (Info)
Species: candicans (KAN-dee-kans) (Info)
Synonym:Echium maderense
Synonym:Echium marianum
Synonym:Echium pallidum
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:





6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Alabaster, Alabama

Scottsdale, Arizona

Aptos, California

Belmont, California

Big Sur, California

Bodega Bay, California

Boulder Creek, California(2 reports)

Brentwood, California

Carlsbad, California

Carmel, California

Citrus Heights, California

Clayton, California

Davis, California

Day Valley, California

Encinitas, California

Eureka, California

Fairfield, California

Fallbrook, California(10 reports)

Fremont, California

Glendale, California(2 reports)

Hanford, California

Hayward, California

Laguna Beach, California

Lake Elsinore, California

Lake San Marcos, California

Lakewood, California

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California(3 reports)

Los Gatos, California

Manchester, California

Marina, California(2 reports)

Martinez, California(2 reports)

Modesto, California

Monterey, California

North Highlands, California

Oak View, California

Oakland, California

Oceanside, California

Pasadena, California

Perris, California

Pittsburg, California(2 reports)

Pleasanton, California

Pomona, California

Ramona, California

Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Redwood City, California

Richmond, California

Rio del Mar, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California(3 reports)

San Francisco, California(2 reports)

San Leandro, California

San Marcos, California

San Mateo, California

Santa Barbara, California

Solana Beach, California

Sun City, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Three Rivers, California

Torrance, California

Tracy, California

Upland, California

Vallejo, California

Valley Center, California

Winchester, California

Mancos, Colorado

Titusville, Florida

Ahuimanu, Hawaii

Heeia, Hawaii

Kaneohe, Hawaii

Waikane, Hawaii

Broussard, Louisiana

Bar Harbor, Maine

Winona, Minnesota

Clayton, North Carolina

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Adelaide, South Australia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 19, 2018, sylvainyang from Edmond, OK wrote:

Pride of Madeira is an evergreen sub-shrub native to the island of Madeira Portugal, near Morocco. The beautiful yet tough plants are able to tolerate drought, rocky soil, & coastal conditions. They are also deer resistant. It has won a Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The flowers are very ornamental, blooming on huge 2' long spikes. The flowers are blue with red stamens, which gives it a fuzzy blue-violet look. Pride of Madeiras flowers produce large amounts of nectar for bees including honey bees, & butterflies.


On May 20, 2018, waterfall77 from Veliko Tarnovo,
Bulgaria wrote:

Hello from Bulgaria , just been given 2 Pride of Madeira , which took me back 30 years ago, when I lived on the Isle of Wight ! a previous comment mentions Ventnor Botanical gardens and there wonderful display of these plants! Indeed I bought 1 for a pound ! and it grew to about 6ft tall I was so so excited! So here I am living in Bulgaria and have this plant again! it will not survive the cold winters here around -20 c and lower , but I might get it to flower this year !!!
I do love this sight so helpful , thank you !


On Dec 7, 2015, stormhike from Torrance, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is a fabulous plant, the showy flower spikes are superb whether they be very blue or more of a royal purple.
They thrive in my Southern CA coastal garden, no surprise there. They're usually short lived, at most five years, but as they start easily from cuttings I can keep them around.
They do consume a fairly large patch and their leaves can sting your hands a little, best to wear gloves when pruning. They also suffocate any plants in the area they occupy.
What I have observed is that they can take a lot of sun and very little water. If they die back in the height of a summer drought they bounce back when the winter rains come, sometimes better than ever.


On Jul 13, 2015, thetubeguy1954 from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I haven't made an attempt with these "Pride of Madeira" but perhaps the reason why they do well in CA & TX zones 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b etc. but seem to fail in these zones in FL is due to our much higher humidity? I know I found this out the hard way when I purchased some Lupines from Annie's Annuals that are rated from 8a to 10b, full sun with little summer water. After they died very quickly, I called to complain ---{please understand my experiences with Annie's are very positive 99% of the time}--- and the woman who answered told me "Lupines don't like high humidity like you have in FL. It's no surprise they didn't make it!"

I was very upset and asked her why info such as that wasn't listed in their catalogues and told to clients when the are purchasing plants on the phone?... read more


On May 14, 2015, loubeach from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

I wonder if anyone has Echiums that flower green rather than the blue/purple that is normal. Can't figure why my flowers came up green . This is the first flowering since planting.


On May 1, 2014, Pamerella from Davis, CA wrote:

Two years ago I purchased seeds from an online source, germinated 6 in wet paper towels and planted them in small pots until they had about five leaves on them. Only 4 lived to that point and they went into the ground. I planted three along a fence by my driveway and one of them died naturally, one was accidentally destroyed by a foot, but one survived and is such a joy! One day in April I went out my door to find it in full bloom and buzzing with bees! I'm actually glad only one survived of the 3, because I believe it will grow to the full length of the area. It is about 4 feet high and 6 feet wide. I'm harvesting seeds now! (Well, hopefully, though I'm concerned that it may be only husks I'm harvesting.)

The 4th one was planted in my back yard beside an oak stump. It grew ... read more


On Feb 22, 2013, starfarmer from Ann Arbor, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

A thought on the lifespan issue: some authorities list Echium candicans (the most accepted current name for what is listed here on DG as E. fastuosum) as a weak perennial subshrub, while others list it as a strict biennial.

Many of E. c.'s close relatives, such as E. pininiana and E. wildprettii, are solidly biennial. Both of those species have hybridized naturally, and all three have hybridized in complex webs of inheritance. This is why you can see rose or mauve colored flowers on supposed E. c., when it is classically know as a rich blue-flowered plant (while E. w. comes in shades of red, pink, etc.)

In short, once we removed the 30 or so (out of 60 or so total) subtropical, Mediterranean species of Echium from their native environments and exposed them to ... read more


On Nov 6, 2012, Stanner from Sandy, UT wrote:

I purchased some seeds from an Australian seller on eBay, 2011. Planted some in March 2012. They sprouted in about a week and by May, 1 was still alive and was about 8 inches tall. I transplanted it to a sandy-soiled area that gets full sun in summer. The plant grew until it was about 2.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, then it didnt grow any more. We had a long hot and dry summer and I watered it about 2-3x per week, still nothing more grew. Even after the weather broke and we had 2 months of cooler weather it still hasnt grown any larger. I used a liquid fertilizer, 30-10-10 every month and everything else responded well but not Maderia.


On May 9, 2012, Andrearichter from Cowes,
United Kingdom wrote:

If you want to see this plant flourishing in the UK, visit Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the Isle of Wight during July and August, the 'Echium' terrace looks amazing along with the other plants.


On May 8, 2012, mlml from Penngrove, CA wrote:

Please don't plant this adjacent to wildlands! I worry when people want to put it on their hillsides. This is a very attractive plant, but in the right conditions can spread exponentially. It's scary when you see what it can do to an ecosystem. I hope gardeners will think about what happens to the plants they establish after they (the gardeners) have moved away or died.


On May 7, 2012, lliefveld from KAMIAH, ID (Zone 6b) wrote:

All of the descriptions that I've seen indicate this is for the 'coastal' area. We live inland, in Central California, in the foothills of Sequoia National Park. I purchased 1 plant, while I was in Monterey, just to see how it would do.

It's phenomenal! This is the 3rd year. Last year it had 1 bloom. This year it's about 8-feet wide and absolutely covered with blooms. Now my husband wants 5-6 more!

We have a hillside that gets very little summer water, and we are required to keep it free of weeds, so we've been experimenting with plants that will keep us from watering and keep us from weed-eating. It looks like this will be one of the 'keepers'.

It's not sold locally, so I'm going to experiment with collecting the seed and also propa... read more


On Mar 2, 2012, Paullatham from Blairgowrie,
United Kingdom wrote:

The plant grows well at Turi in the Kenya highlands.


On Sep 24, 2011, baiissatva from Dunedin,
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b coastal otago new zealand

I can say that these plants and their closely related cohorts are pretty tough temp-wise; we are maritime down here, but get snow, hail, buckets of rain and some frost, but also generally dry summers and right by the sea, I can grow the tougher tree aloes. All in all Id say we're not far off it's native conditions with our volcanic rock and sea exposure etc.

Several echium varieties have naturalized and plenty survive the winter. Im also puzzled about their lifespan; I know a plant that's at least 15 years old and still going strong; some of my own have done 4-5, whereas others in my garden have pffed out after 2 years. I suggest it has to do with the amount of water they receive. Too wet and well fed and they bolt throug... read more


On May 17, 2011, Oxytone from Marina, CA wrote:

Echium fastuosum isn't biennial. I can assure you that it certainly isn't. My plants have been in the ground for several years and I've seen some that were over 10 years old with thick trunks at a shopping center built around the year 2000. If they are grown in a Mediterranean climate in fairly lean soil and not overwatered, they do very well well. They don't like to be kept wet, and they don't do well in warm humid climates, and love sand. Remember, these are Mediterranean plants with cool maritime influence. Happy plants will grow very fast as well. If they dislike where they are they will sulk.

They do exceedingly well along the coast of central and northern California. I've seen some very big, very old (relatively speaking) plants in San Franciscan and Monterey gardens. ... read more


On May 13, 2011, oahu from Kaneohe, HI wrote:

Although this plant is not readily available in Hawaii, I happen to have 2 growing quit well in my yard. They've been in the ground for about 1 1/2 years and have growen from a small sprig to about 2 feet in diameter each. I'm wondering how long before I can expect them to bloom? Can anyone tell me?


On Mar 31, 2011, flowblue from Southern California, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

after reading this thread, i found out the answer to a question i've had about my pride of madeira. its' life span.

because friends know of my love for the colour blue, it's very easy to give me gifts......if their fav colour is not blue, i am the happy recipient of their blue rejects...including plants. i have tried to keep to blue in a certain part of my small garden..... i have planted...agapanthus, blue hibiscus, lobellias, yesterday today and tomorrow..both small and large petaled varieties, streptocarpellas, vincas, and a few more, their names escape me. i just gravitate to any blues in nurseries and if i can provide them with the environment they like and will be happy in my garden i buy them...

a friend gave me my first pride of madeira, two 6 inch ... read more


On Oct 3, 2010, dez42 from Naples, FL wrote:

I am researching growing this in Florida...
The problem in Titusville, I suspect isn't a problem at all--this plant is a biennial (or at least often acts like one!). If they are 2 year olds they WILL fade away! If they had bloomed, they would have self-seeded for you.Well it grows in the UK, and in Texas, and other echiums grow here...I have different microclimates. Guess I'll just give it a try and update later!


On Sep 20, 2010, ptooming from Titusville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I planted 2 different ones in my yard purchased from Annies.
They took off OK, but then became stunted for what ever reason and didn't progress they have been in my yard 2 years I lost one altogether last month and the other looks kind of sad regardless of my best efforts. They never made any effort to bloom taking up as much room as they have. they do leave a mess and look dreadful with the old dried leaves left on the stems below the new growth. You must use gloves to remove these since they have sharp hairs that can get lodged in your skin between your fingers. Don't try them in Florida it was a costly experiment, not all zones of the same number are created equal!!


On Aug 25, 2010, figalicious from Ramona, CA wrote:

I am planting a steep hillside and want to have a few Pride of Madeira on it. It looks like these can be started by cuttings? Anyway, I'm going to try to root a few cuttings from a really pretty blue plant near by. I tried to get some seeds too but I think it's too late as they may have already dispersed. I cut a few heads just in case.

Has anyone started Echiun from cuttings?

Are they sensitive to transplant? I put several cuttings into one large pot. Should I start them in individual pots for easier transplant?



On Jun 27, 2010, mellogardener from Boulder Creek, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I planted one a few years ago where it would get a lot of sun. Then a male deer came along and cut the middle out of it with his antlers.....i merely stuck the cut branches into the soil and i now have two additional plants. Deer don't eat it, drought tolerant, bees love it. This plan is a win-win for the area if one is up out of the San Lorenzo Valley and has a good draining spot for it.


On May 26, 2010, n2joE from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I had bought some seeds and not knowing it's zoning I planted them (Zone 6 here) out in the yard. The spot where I placed them gets sufficient sun, just don't know if they grow in Tennessee at all. Or I could have possibly planted the seeds to early in the cool start of Spring. Any comments or advice appreciated. Really enjoy looking at this plant.


On Apr 24, 2010, PlantLover57 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

There's tons of this plant growing around Bernal Heights in San Francisco, both wild and in people's yards and gardens. It's large and quite striking, interesting to look at. Mainly deep purple, but some lighter shades. A landscaper told me it's invasive. It does best in open sun, but I've seen big clumps in forested areas. Working on trying to grow it from seeds or seedlings, which are abundant around the wild sites, but I'm just starting, so nothing to report.


On Apr 2, 2010, gatobut from Palm Desert, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've had great success with this plant here in Martinez, California. I am just off the Carquinez Straits with the accompanying wind and mediterranean weather. I planted one by my curb and the other on the top of my sloping hill, and they were everything they were supposed to be. Drought-tolerant, thriving on neglect, and quickly spreading. On cue, they both flowered one year from planting. My soil is heavy clay that doesn't drain well, but the plants don't care. And oh, the bees! It's like a "for rent" sign with them.

However, I bought both from Navlet's and they are both pinkish. I really want (1) Cobalt Blue and (1) Dark Purple, but there's no guarantee when buying them. If anyone can let me know where I can buy the Blue and Purple, I would appreciate it, thanks.


On Mar 29, 2010, onecent4944 from Citrus Heights, CA wrote:

I planted this 2 years ago from a small 1 gallon container and was told it would never grow in Citrus Heights, CA let alone bloom. As you can see it has taken over. I have 5 plants and 3 out of 5 bloomed this year. Two of the 5 are a darker purple than this one. But this is the largest. Hummingbirds and bees love this plant!


On Mar 18, 2010, dirtzoo from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

I live in Hollywood, California and i love this plant. It is Doubt resistant , the Bees LOVE it. Although this year the main old plant died. the babies next to it are fine and flowering. I think it was all the rain and the roots got mold/fungus. That is what i think, though i am hearing that this plant lives only five years? if this is the case then , that is it. i am fostering the babies to take over where the Big mother was. it had a twisty four-six inch trunk. you will get a short lasting rash if you work around this plant. i did absolutely no maintenance to this plant just let it grow and watered it occasionally . Any views on this plant let me know!


On Feb 24, 2010, greenthumbjan from Stockton, CA wrote:

I just bought 50 seeds living in Stockton, Ca. I gave my friend 6 or so living in Lodi, Ca. Reading about plants for honey bees and came across that bees love this plant. Has anyone learned how bees act around them? This plant, the seeds are small to be a large plant. So I do some good thoughts. I will send pic of my garden.


On Jun 9, 2009, Ralphie58 wrote:

Am growing my echium in full morning sun to part sun in East Sacramento. It bloomed beautifully this spring (09). Am not sure what to do next with the flowering stems. Cut back, or just let grow. purchased a variegated echium today at local nursery.


On Jul 22, 2008, lazy_gardener from San Mateo, CA wrote:

I have three in my front yard but I'm having trouble keeping them all happy although they are less than 25feet apart, all in full sun, not competing with any other plant and self seeding very well. All on the same drip system (once every 2 weeks) . None the less after growing to the full 6-7 foot height and blooming beautifully for 2 seasons they begin to die back and 18 months later are done. I notice that Foster City's plants are also dying so does anyone have more cultivation information on this beautiful plant. Does it actually only live 5 years?


On Jul 3, 2007, birdgrrl from North Highlands (Sacto), CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I started this plant from a cutting in Fall, 2005. I planted it in part shade in Spring, 2006. It grew some but did not bloom. I was very surprised that it made it thru the killer frost and has come back great this year. Still waiting for some blooms. I see it growing by the ocean on the coast everywhere, but I have never seen it here in Sacramento. I'm nervously waiting for flowers.


On Jun 17, 2006, Singen from Sun City, CA wrote:

This plant is from the Mediterain and I have heard grow less tall in that area.
It grows very fast in my area, Sun City. It will over take a small yard in no time.
It sheds leaves which when dry make a heavy carpet on the ground that is not very attractive but does help retard weeds.The branches are woody and break easily in wind or heavy rain. It does have very beautiful bloom spikes of cobalt blue and the bees do love them as well as humming birds. I would recomend planting it where there is plenty room for it to spread. It might be good hedge.


On Mar 25, 2006, Stormsdad from Pleasanton, CA wrote:

This plant is ubiquitous in the Monterey Peninsula and grows very well in clay soil. In my area, plants have gotten to be as high as 8 feet or so. This plant comes in two forms -- one being a tight mushroom that maintains this shape as it grows. The other is sprawly, leggy, and faster growing. The conical flowers (ranging from light blue to a vibrant purple)are up to one foot long and appear usually late March and last for several weeks. These plants also tend to be shallow rooted and the branches can easily snap during flowering season, so extra care (especially on the sprawly version) and support may be a good idea. It is very hard to distinguish to two forms when they are young plants, but becomes very easy in when they get over a couple of feet tall.


On Oct 2, 2004, MickieGrace from Belmont, CA wrote:

The established plant may be deer resistant but I lost 4 young ones completely eaten,down to nothing, by deer.

One planted in a sunny location with regular watering. In one year, it grew 10 times bigger, lots of new branches but no flowers.

Two planted in a semi-shade location with light watering. They did not grow full but both bloomed.


On Mar 17, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very fast growing plant- from a seedling to a large, flowering plant in just a couple years. Drought tolerant (thrived in cactus garden), but not that happy about being transplanted once large. Comes in about 6 shades of light blue all the way to a deep purple. Blooms for me, at least, in the late winter (starts mid march) and usually used up by end of April. Bees love it and plant tends to 'hum' in late March with a gazillion bees on it. Never seen one bloom in So Cal in the summer. Commonly planted shrub along some highway divisions and public landscaping. Very hard to screw up trying to grow this plant here in So Cal. Plant can grow quite tall, but most only 2-4' high.

Unlike the situation with many Echium species, this one is a long-term perrenial (live for many ... read more