Friday, April 9, 2010
Plants I'm Growing--First Blooms: Cistus "Sunset," Rose "Nearly Wild," Rose "Livin' Easy," Echium Vulgare
Vulgare is the smallest and least showy of the Echiums I know, but it's pretty nevertheless. The flowers bloom in loose spikes (the photo here shows only a single small blossom). They start out clear blue and fade to a washed-out violet pink. The plant is only about 18 inches tall. It's strong (tolerating neglect), but it tends to look a bit ratty late in the season. Still, it's a nice addition to the spring color parade.
Like many of the Echiums, it will reseed itself if you let the flowers go. There are about 8 Echium boissieri plants around the garden this year--none of which I planted. The original, single plant was put in about four years ago. It's long gone, but its descendants continue to thrive. The Echium vulgare is a volunteer, too, from a single plant I put in several years ago. Two or three Echium wildpretii are set to bloom this year as well. A few of the Echiums are perennials. Most are biennials (producing a rosette of low leaves the first year, a tall flower spike the second year and then dying). Echium vulgare is an annual.