Sunday, May 16, 2010

Echium Pininanas Growing Strangely

We've had a pretty severe winter here on the Costa Blanca. Several times we had snow on the lower levels and one night the snow actually lay here! We had frost, and rain and cold winds, and now that summer is almost here not much has changed. This has been an especially wet year so far. Most days it seems, it either starts off cloudy and wet, or it ends cloudy and wet. And cold. We've had a few days of nice weather in between, but not much.
My biggest echium pininana got blown over in a winter storm, but it's still growing, but just have a LOOK at it. Look at its stem, which is normally circular, polar, perpendicular, round, just like any tree trunk or big plant trunk.

I have never seen anyting so strange in my life! Two of the echiums are like this, a third has gone into flower in only its second year, and its well less than three feet tall. My dad's grow to 15' or more.
Several of mine have elongated width-ways. They are not tall - maybe two to three feet, but look at the strange wiggly line on the top of this one. That is the shape of the stem! This is the one that fell over but it's being supported by the wall now.

It is strarting to flower too, I will take soe pics when it is in full flower because its going to look even stranger than it does now.

If anyone else has grown these plants out here in Spain, zone 10, please tell me if you have had similar results. They had plenty water all last year (read my other blog About Relleu to see the water bill I apparently ran up, just watering plants), but the soil here is poor and very alkaline. My dad grows nonsters echiums in his garden in south west Scotland, which I've worked out is a zone 9 as they only get light frosts and are permanently warmed by the Gulf Stream.

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