Rare tropical plant shoots up 15 foot

April 26, 2011 | by | 1 Comment

A keen gardener was blooming overwhelmed after his rare tropical plant suddenly shot up a staggering 15 foot – because of the hot weather.

Rare tropical plant shoots up 15 foot

Terry Baker, 53, watched in amazement as his Giant Bugloss shot up 13 feet in the blazing sunshine and blossomed into thousands of bright purple flowers.

The endangered plant, latin name echium pininana, is native to the Canary Islands and very unlikely to reach great heights in Britain due to our colder climate.

But sizzling temperatures of more than 20 degrees Celsius have caused this two-year-old plant to grow to epic proportions in Atworth, near Melksham, Wilts.

It has shot up from green leaves of two-and-a-half feet into a giant spike towering 15ft above Terry’s garden – complete with stunning lavender flowers.

Terry, who runs the Botanic Nursery in the town, said he had never heard of a Giant Bugloss growing in such a ”spectacular” way.

He said: ”I am deliriously happy. I’ve been growing these plants for 25 years and it is a real rarity for one to become so huge.

”You can find echiums growing to similar sizes in hotter climates, such as Madeira, but it is practically unheard of to find one as big as this in Britain, let alone one that flowers.

Rare tropical plant shoots up 15 foot

”They will only flower if the conditions are right, and this hot weather has been simply brilliant for this one.

”It is amazing to look at. I have simply been taken aback by it, it is quite a feature.”

After flowering, the Giant Bugloss will die and scatter its seeds.

The plant is native to La Palma in the Canary Islands but is now listed as endangered because of habitat loss.

In its first year, the plant grows a basal rosette of huge leaves, measuring up to two-and-half feet wide.

It remains two-and-a-half feet tall until the Spring of the next year, where it shoots up a giant spike and – in prime conditions – sprouts thousands of flowers.

* The triffid is the highly-venomous fictional plant species created by John Wyndham in his 1951 novel ‘The Day of the Triffids’ which went on to be serialised on both TV and radio.

The word ‘triffid’ has become a popular British English term used to describe large or menacing looking plants.

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  1. Judith Hutchins says:

    I have 2 of these in my front garden and one in my back, been waiting for them to come up for a couple of years and they are definatly on there way up

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