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 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.

The genus, Echium Tourn ex L., was named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753. He used a previous description by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and gave him credit for naming the plant. 

There are many AWESOME species of Echium that would make any gardener drool! As of 12-2-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 68 species in the Echium genus. It is a member of the plant family Boraginaceae with 158 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

Annie’s Annuals and Perennials offers several species and cultivars.

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 translates 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.

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.


Please leave a comment. I would like to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.