Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma Couty, Ca, USA
    Posts
    201

    Default Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    My mom has a "Tower of jewels" plant (Echium wildpretii) in her yard and it is the most amazing bee buffet I have ever seen. I measured it at 12' 6" tall last month and it's probably 13+' by now. It just hums with bees all day every day and it's been blooming for nearly 2 months. If you live in a happy zone where it will grow I would highly recommend it as a bee friendly plant. It's clearly quite content in zone 9a in California. I may try and plant a row of them for a windbreak near my hives. Wikipedia-Echium wildpretii

    Here's my moms Tower of jewels. The bees love the Nasturtiums also...


    And here's a little lady feeding on it. One of 100 or more bees that are on it right now. She looks pretty high mileage with those ragged wing tips..
    2 hives, 1st year, 0 clue, zone 9a

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,388

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Very nice pics!

    Where can I get the seeds or the plantlets?
    And how long the plant will live, annual or biannual?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    South Western Ohio
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    I just sent this to my son who is an horticulturist to see if it would grow in SW Ohio, and if so, availability.
    Tim
    "Amateurs built the Ark; Professionals built the "Titanic".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    If it is 13' tall I wonder if it is Echium pininana instead? You will be disapointed with it as a windbreak. They die after blooming.

    Last edited by odfrank; 06-15-2015 at 09:26 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Quote Originally Posted by tim8557 View Post
    I just sent this to my son who is an horticulturist to see if it would grow in SW Ohio, and if so, availability.
    If it gets below 25F for a few days I doubt it will make it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma Couty, Ca, USA
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Where can I get the seeds or the plantlets?
    And how long the plant will live, annual or biannual?
    It's a biennial and allegedly flowers the second year then dies.
    This one I think was started last fall so it's not a year old yet but it's obviously flowering anyway. Someone gave it to my mom. It was in a 16" pot (it's still in the pot but is rooted through the drain holes into the ground) and it was maybe 18" tall early this spring. Most of the literature I've found says they grow to be 3' to 10' tall. This one has grown tremendously fast and is currently 14' 5" tall and over 24" diameter at the base of the bloom.
    It's been blooming for 2 full months now and I can't even guess how many thousands of flowers it has on it. It's really quite amazing and the bees seem to think so too.

    The seeds are apparently available quite a few places on line.
    I suspect that this one will have a ton of seeds at the end of the year. If it does then maybe I'll offer up some of them to interested beeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    If it is 13' tall I wonder if it is Echium pininana instead?
    Errr... ummm.... well shoot, now I dunno.
    Mom said her friend said it was called Tower of Jewels and when I looked that up I came up with Echium wildpretii. But now that I've seen your photo and looked up Echium pininana I'm thinking maybe you're right. Hmm.

    What ever it is it sure is a tall one. I hope it produces a lot of seeds.

    Here's a current (today) photo of it. It's gotten a lot fatter in the last couple of weeks. The bees are having a great time with it.
    Last edited by BeeBop; 06-15-2015 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Add a photo
    2 hives, 1st year, 0 clue, zone 9a

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,388

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Yes, you will have a lot of seeds this season from that plant since the bees are on it.
    I would like to have some of its seeds if you don't mind sending.
    I can send you the white and/or blue Borage seeds, the nyger seeds,
    and the sainfoin seeds too. I also have the rare purple color collard seeds available now.
    PM me if you are interested.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma Couty, Ca, USA
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Well, this crazy Echium is still blooming. It's been about 3-1/2 months now since it started to bloom.
    It's the first thing I find bees on in the morning and the last thing I see bees on at night. They really love it. I'm sure it has had MILLIONS of bee visits by now. It's probably had a million flowers by now with many visits per flower.



    And... mom found the tag for it. Heh... "Mr. Happy."
    Say, is that an Echium in your pants or are you just happy to see me...?




    I will definitely be planting many of these next year. It's the most amazing bee attractant I've ever seen.
    2 hives, 1st year, 0 clue, zone 9a

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    I sprouted seeds from mine the last month and they came up like a lawn.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,388

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Anything that blooms from May til September is a good bee plant for me to
    get them through the summer dearth here. Though I don't like the 'hybrid' title that it
    may not grow true the next season if you collected the seeds from this year. How come don't
    get the open pollinated, non-hybrid to plant?
    I'm going to do so research on ebay to find out.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma Couty, Ca, USA
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I sprouted seeds from mine the last month and they came up like a lawn.
    They germinate and grow easily then?
    I can't even imagine how many seeds are on one of those things. It's pretty amazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Anything that blooms from May til September is a good bee plant for me to
    get them through the summer dearth here. Though I don't like the 'hybrid' title that it
    may not grow true the next season if you collected the seeds from this year. How come don't
    get the open pollinated, non-hybrid to plant?
    Moms started blooming in April and I doubt that it will make it until September. It's starting to look a little ragged and I imagine that by mid August it'll be mostly done blooming. Or not. It's been a big surprise so far.
    I don't know about the hybrid thing. Mom got it at the local nursery and if you read the tag then you know as much as me. I'll plant a bunch of seeds and find out if they grow true or not. I'll bet either way the bees love it.
    2 hives, 1st year, 0 clue, zone 9a

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    I read to germinate in June and July with last years seed and it is working great. I will take a pic tomorrow, if I remember.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Here are my few week old Echium pininana seedlings. Very easy to germinate. This might be as profitable as my BeeBeeTree business.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    The mother plant:


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sonoma Couty, Ca, USA
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Awesome! Look at all that Echium!

    That'll be a lot of good bee fun when they grow up.
    2 hives, 1st year, 0 clue, zone 9a

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,759

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    N
    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Here are my few week old Echium pininana seedlings. Very easy to germinate. This might be as profitable as my BeeBeeTree business.

    Anything would be an improvement over those stupid BB trees!
    Vice President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Anything would be an improvement over those stupid BB trees!
    Charlie - I grew enough to give you some for free so that you can kill them also with your abysmally poor gardening talent. These might even grow for a few months on that barren foggy, windy rooftop you think is a garden. But only until they get too tall and are blown over by the wind.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,759

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    I think you have a weird obsession with plants.
    Vice President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,388

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    Charlie, the BB trees are doing great here.
    I don't water them for almost 2 weeks when I'm busy.
    The leaves shrivel up a bit but still alive when I water them again.
    They're very hardy on the ground not on the roof top. But if you want to
    try the roof top method I would recommend Borage for the pollen and nectar. Both the blue and
    white variety. Your bees will be all over them when they bloom. The Nyger is good too for the nectar source.
    They are not too picky where you put them as long as they have the moisture to grow. A layer of mulch works
    wonder for them on your roof top setting.
    You are so lucky to have such a nice bee friends over the years. Without him your beekeeping life would be
    boring, indeed.

    Now growing BB:
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Bees love Echium wildpretii. (Tower of jewels)

    >But if you want to try the roof top method I would recommend Borage

    I think Charlie already came to grips with his abysmal gardening abilities. He was trying to sell me his planter boxes last year.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads