So­phie’s top 5 echi­ums

Gardening Australia - - PLANTS IN FOCUS -

• Pride of Madeira (E. can­di­cans syn. E. fas­tu­o­sum)

1.5–2m 1.8–2.5m

A rounded mound with bril­liant blue flower spikes ris­ing above the fo­liage. Seedling-grown flow­ers can vary from pale blue to al­most pink. It has weed po­ten­tial, so don’t grow near bush­land, and re­move flow­ers as soon as they fin­ish.

• E. ‘Cobalt Tow­ers’

1.5–2.5m 1–2m

A hy­brid with deep cobalt-blue flow­ers on a large, up­right, can­de­labra–like shrub. It has larger leaves than E. can­di­cans and turns woody and leggy more quickly.

• E. ‘Heronswood Blue’

2m 2m

This chance seedling found at Heronswood Gar­dens, home of The Dig­gers Club, pro­duces tall spikes of sky-blue flow­ers. There is also a ‘Heronswood Pink’ and a ‘Heronswood White’.

• E. sim­plex

2–3m 0.4–0.8m

A sin­gle-trunked bi­en­nial with a tall spire of white flow­ers emerg­ing from a rosette of sil­ver-grey fo­liage.

• Tower of jew­els (E. wild­pretii subsp. tri­chosiphon)

2–3m 0.3–0.6m

A tow­er­ing bi­en­nial with pink flow­ers on a sin­gle spire above a rosette of sil­ver-grey fo­liage.

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