T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Echium pininana (Pride of Tenerife)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Incertae sedis
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Echium
Species: E. pininana
Binomial name: Echium pininana
Common name: Giant bugloss, Tree Echium, Pine echium, Giant Viper's bugloss, Giant bugloss, Tower of Jewels, Pride of Tenerife, Tajinaste, Taginaste,

Echium pininana is a plant, native to La Palma in the Canary Islands, that is now cultivated in gardens. Its native habitat is laurel forests, where it is now endangered through habitat loss.
It is a single-trunked monocarpic shrubby plant that develops a short stout woody trunk 1-2 m long bearing a terminal cluster of deep green, oblongelliptic leaves, individually up to c. 80 x 10 cm. The inflorescence is very leafy 
eventually forming a column 2-3 m high and the whole plant usually 4-5 m high.
E. pininana is a biennial or triennial, showing little more than leaf in the first year and the second year to grow the flower spike that carries a dense mass of leaves and small blue flowers. The flowers are pink in bud and pale blue to mauve at anthesis. They are subtended by lanceolate bracts and are borne on slender inflorescence branches that are up to over 30 cm long by the fruiting stage.
After shedding its seeds the plant will die.   It self-seeds easily to form clusters of plants.
In New Zealand it is an escaped plant and is found growing wild, usually in coastal areas.









Flowering has passed (late march).  Photographed in a coastal situation in the Dunedin area.


A one year old plant.