Mystery Monday

Mystery as in what the heck was it that I planted sometime last summer?

A teeny plant given to me by an allotment friend. The said friend I haven’t seen for months so can’t ask.

All I remember is that it grows tall (TICK – now over 7 feet and rising), has purple-lilac flowers (TICK – the first few flower buds are starting to open), attracts bees (hopefully a tick) and maybe grows or comes from in the Channel Islands.

So can you solve a  mystery?

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Oh and if it continues to keep on growing it may become a murder mystery!


  • Hi that is an echium it throws up a massive flower spike that the bees adore. I grow these but cant get them to come through the winter in my area, although I managed to get one through a couple of years ago and i must have had over a thousand seeds and yes one heck of alot of seedlings growing through gravel. They are extremely hard to move because they hate being moved and there leaves are covered in a very nasty hair that gives you many many splinters, so be very careful if you have to handle them. In the first year the plant will make a huge rosette of leaves and if your lucky enough to get through the winter it will throw up an enormous flower spike then it will die. Its a fantastic plant and a great talking point for the neighbours.

  • Relief! I don’t have to murder a nameless plant!! Seriously thank you 🙂 It has already survived a winter planted out in the garden and this Spring it has put on at least 3 – 4 foot of growth and has now started to flower. And thanks to you I now know it’s name! I also appreciate the word of warning about the hair on the leaves, I’ll make sure to wear gloves. I’m waiting for it to come into full flower so I can snap away, and hopefully for the rain to stop so the bees can come and enjoy it.

  • That sounds like an outrageous plant. You must really have a green thumb since it came thorough the winter. I’m looking forward to photos when it blooms.

    • The garden is reasonably sheltered, so I think the warmth of a walled garden and the shelter it had have helped. I think a lot of our plants die off over winter through rotting from too much rain and it being too cold, which is not a problem we’ve had this winter!

  • I am so glad that you got an answer to your inquiry! It is so interesting. And I agree with Karen, your green thumb is endowed with special TLC! 🙂 Great slideshow! Debra

    • Isn’t the internet fabulous! All these great connections, thoughts, ideas, expereinces to share – including my beautiful but crazy Echium!

    • I know I was starting to get a tad worried it was an alien life form hell bent on taking over the garden
      Loving the photo in your avatar 🙂

      • Of course it still could be an alien life form hell bent on taking over the garden and those that say it is a plant are in league with it:-)
        Couldnt resist the photo…thanks for taking it xx

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