These exceptionally tall and fine examples of Echium pininana from Madeira flowered in 2008. E. pininana belongs to the same family as Pulmonaria (Boraginaceae) except that its hairs are more unpleasant -more like tiny, almost microscopic, spikes which tend to embed themselves generously in any unsuspecting piece of flesh. They are a devil to remove. The tallest of the plants in the photograph was over 6 metres. Is this a record? Some of our current plants look as though they will beat 6 metres in 2009.
P.S. No, they did not beat the record. All except the small ones froze to death in January 2009! Such is the way of plants.
© Maciej Pomian-Srzednicki, 2008
Telephone 01803 201813

Echium pininana

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