Joy asked me over IM the other day if I could remember the name of a large blue flower she’d told me previously. I couldn’t even remember the conversation let alone the name, but we narrowed down what the flower looked like, one I was pretty sure I see a lot of when I ride my bike to work.

After some tricky Googling (“conical blue flower”, “purple flower golden gate bridge”, etc), I found the one she was looking for. Echium. So today I couldn’t help myself from stopping en route to take a few pictures.

Echium, a conical blue-purple flower, growing along 101 north of the Golden Gate Bridge

Here’s a great closeup.

Echium, close-up


Gorgeous! They are also called Pride of Medeira, I learned. Your Googling skillz are mad.

Your much more robust than me, but I believe we could be related!

heh, my first comment from a flower. finally!


where are these situated, exactly. Have been wanting to grow these after seeing them in a yard in a magazine 2 yrs ago. Can’t even find the seed, much less the plant.

Gale H

You guys are great!! I have a beautiful picture of these in front of the GG Bridge and could not find the name until I googled you under purple flower at Golden Gate Bridge. How exciting to find the name and your picture. Thank You!!


OMG… this is just nice. please someone send me some such echium seeds… i’d love to grow some… i live in romania… so i am not sure how i’d go!
my name’s calin and my email address is romkore at PLIZ!!! :)


They’re beautiful indeed when flowering (ho-hum the rest of the year) but when they get a foothold in your yard, watch out–they spread like the plague. We are utterly infested and it is an annual headache. Best to chop off those gorgeous purple spikes as they start to fade, before the seeds hit the ground.


Echiums are from the Canary Islands. very drought tolerant, fast growers, big girls (or boys if you wish). In the Canary’s they also come in pinks and whites.


At least some Echium species are highly invasive. The common form grows everywhere along our roadsides here in Ontario, and one species called Patterson’s Curse has become a problem in Australia according to Wikipedia. Don’t plant unless you are sure yours is safe!


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