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Pride of Maderia

INTRODUCTION Echium candicans (Pride of Madeira) is a large herbaceous perennial subshrub in the family Boraginaceae. As the name suggests, it is native to the island of Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal and part of the Canary Islands.

FACTS TO NOTE Pride of Madeira is an extremely popular member of gardens throughout central and southern California. Pride of Madeira is also extremely popular with any pollinator in the region including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and wide array of other insects and songbirds! This flowering shrub is Biennial, so flowers are formed every other year. This species is very adaptable to inland areas but thrives in coastal growing conditions due to the presence of salty air, wind, sunshine and rocky soils. In areas where Pride of Madeira thrives it can have invasive tendencies. This is a result of speedy growth and a heavy seed dispersion so gardeners often trim flowers before they enter their seed cycle. Though considered generally pest and disease free (even deer resistant), this plant can occasionally attract whiteflies, spider mites, weevils and slugs which must be managed. Though evidence that Pride of Madeira has been used in herbal remedies exists, it is by no means suitable for human consumption. All parts of this plant are considered poisonous by the California Poison Control System. Ingestion will cause discomfort but may also lead to serious effects to the heart, liver, kidneys and/or brain. Foliage may also be a skin irritant so one may want to enjoy the beauty of Pride of Madeira from a distance if inexperienced with its care.

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