Echium amoenum-Red Feathers

Echium amoenum-Red Feathers on 5-14-13, #148-9.

Red Feathers Plant

Echium amoenum

EK-ee-um am-oh-EN-um

Echium amoenum Fisch. & C.A. Mey. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Red Feathers Plant. It was first described by Friedrich Ernst Ludwig von (Fedor Bogdanovic) Fischer and Carl Anton (Andreevič) von Meyer in Index Seminum in 1838. The title is much longer but that is the short version.

Echium L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this genus of flowering plants. It was named and described by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753. Plants of the World Online lists the genus name as Echium Tourn. ex L. but the International Plant Names Index and Tropicos just say Echium L.

There are many AWESOME species of Echium that would make any gardener drool! Currently, Plants of the World Online lists 69 accepted species. Annie’s Annuals and Perennials offers several species and cultivars available species.

Echium amoenum (Red Feathers) is a 2010 introduction from Plant Select. Plant Select is a collaboration of the Colorado State University and the Denver Botanical Gardens that seek out the best plants for western gardens.

 

Echium amoenum-Red Feathers on 6-21-13, #156-9.

I bought my Echium amoenum in the spring of 2013 from Ron Hort, an Ebay seller from Arkansas. I had ordered plants from him when I lived in Mississippi and was very pleased. It already had a flower, so it was getting off to a good start. They did very well through the summer and produced a lot of flower spikes about 20″ tall. The long, narrow lanced shaped leaves are somewhat fuzzy. This plant is considered a tender perennial or biennial. Although early deadheading will encourage continuous flowering, a few should be left for reseeding. I’m not sure if Red Feathers is a common name or a cultivar name.

 

Echium amoenum-Red Feathers on 7-3-13, #160-11.

Besides needing to deadhead the flowers, the Echium amoenum is a very maintenance free plant. They are drought tolerant and need little extra watering through hot, dry summers.

 

Echium amoenum-Red Feathers on 7-14-13, #162-27.

This plant is a native of northern Iran and the Caucasus Mountains. It is used as a medicinal herb there and is called Gol Gavzaban which translate to cow-tongue flower for the hairy surface of the leaves. The genus name is from the Greek word “echion” with the root word “echis” which means viper. The name could come from the seed resembling a viper’s head. It could also be from the species Echium vulgare, commonly known as Viper’s Bugloss which was a remedy for the adder’s bite. My thanks to San Marcos Growers for that information.

 

Echium amoenum-Red Feathers on 7-30-13, #165-26.

The above photo is what it looks like after the flowers fade, Pretty neat, huh?

 

Echium amoenum-Red Feathers on 7-30-13, #165-27.

 

USEFUL INFORMATION:
Family: Boraginaceae
Origin: Iran, Transcaucasus
Zones: USDA Zones 3-9° F
Size: 12-16” tall x 6-10” wide
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Average, well-drained
Water: Moderate, drought tolerant
Flowers: Red flowers May-frost

 

Echium amoenum-Red Feathers on 8-8-13, #171-11.

The Echium amoenum did very well but didn’t flower that much. The Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) could have given it a little too much shade because I went really wild in 2013.

Although I mulched over the winter of 2013, my Echium amoenum did not come back up in the spring of 2014. They are cold hardy in USDA zones 3a-9b, so I am not sure why they didn’t return. Maybe someday I will try it again.

I hope you found this page useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on the “Like” below if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 Be sure to click on the links below for further reading.

FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
PLANT SELECT
WIKIPEDIA (GENUS)
SAN MARCOS GROWERS
DAVE’S GARDEN
NURSERY MANAGEMENT
PERENNIALS.COM

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