Tower of jewels Echium wildpretii

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
tower of jewels


The plant known commonly as Tower of Jewels displays a striking and distinctive appearance. It is a biennial plant, which means it completes its life cycle over two years. The first year is characterized by a rosette of lance-shaped, hairy, silver-gray leaves that grow close to the ground. In the second year, the plant produces an immensely tall, conical spike adorned with a plethora of small, brilliant reddish-pink flowers which are densely packed around the stem. This flower spike resembles a towering jewel-studded wand, giving the plant its evocative common name. The flowers are rich in nectar and attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and birds, that are drawn to its vibrant hue and sweet nectar. The leaves and stem can have a rough texture, and the entire plant exhibits a striking symmetry and architectural quality that is quite eye-catching in a garden setting. The Tower of Jewels has a drought-resistant nature, and its unique floral display makes it an exceptional specimen in xeriscaped gardens or arid landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Tower Of Jewels, Tenerife Viper's Bugloss, Red Bugloss, Mount Teide Bugloss

    • Common names

      Echium wildpretii.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-5 feet (0.91-1.52 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.61 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Canary Islands


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental value: Echium wildpretii, commonly known as Tower of Jewels, is highly appreciated for its impressive flower spikes that can add dramatic vertical lines to ornamental gardens.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The vibrant flowers of the Tower of Jewels are a magnet for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators, aiding in the pollination of surrounding plants.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, the Tower of Jewels is drought-tolerant, making it suitable for xeriscaping and water-conserving gardens.
    • Unique Foliage: The silvery foliage of Echium wildpretii adds a contrasting texture and color to the garden, diversifying the visual appeal.
    • Rarity and Uniqueness: As a less common garden plant, the Tower of Jewels offers a unique botanical interest that can be a focal point in a plant collection or garden design.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Ecological Indicator: Tower of jewels can be utilized as an indicator species in its native habitat, reflecting the health of the ecosystem where it thrives.
    • Nectar Source for Bees: The plant's prolific blooms provide an abundant source of nectar for bees, making it a valuable plant for beekeepers and for supporting pollinator populations.
    • Erosion Control: Due to its robust root system, tower of jewels can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes in landscapes where it is native or adapted.
    • Ornamental Use: Its striking appearance when in bloom makes it a spectacular ornamental plant for gardens and public spaces.
    • Educational Resource: Tower of jewels can be used in educational settings to teach students about plant biology, particularly the adaptations of plants in arid environments.
    • Habitat Restoration: The plant can be used in native habitat restoration projects to help reestablish the natural flora of the Canary Islands, where it originates.
    • Artistic Inspiration: The unique form and color of tower of jewels' flowers inspire artists and photographers, contributing to the cultural arts.
    • Botanical Studies: Scientists study tower of jewels to understand its unique characteristics, such as its adaptation to high-altitude environments and its biennial life cycle.
    • Cultural Symbol: Tower of jewels is considered a natural symbol of the Canary Islands, where it grows naturally, and is often referenced in cultural works from the region.
    • Dye Production: Although not common, the flowers of the tower of jewels could potentially be used to create natural dyes for textiles, due to their pigments.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Tower of jewels is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Tower of jewels is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Pride: Tower of Jewels is a plant that stands tall and proud, often reaching several meters in height, symbolizing pride and confidence in oneself.
    • Achievement: The plant's growth pattern, from a rosette into a towering spike of flowers, signifies the attainment of one's goals after a period of preparation and determination.
    • Uniqueness: With its striking appearance and distinctive structure, Tower of Jewels represents the uniqueness and individuality of a person or situation.
    • Rarity: As Tower of Jewels is not commonly found everywhere and has a specific habitat, it symbolizes rarity and the value of scarce objects or traits.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Tower of Jewels should be watered deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. In general, watering once every two to three weeks is sufficient, with adjustments made for particularly hot or dry weather. When watering, aim to provide about one to two gallons of water per plant, ensuring it reaches the deeper roots without causing waterlogging. During the winter months, reduce watering further to prevent root rot, as the plant has lower water requirements in cooler temperatures.

  • sunLight

    Tower of Jewels thrives in full sun where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The best spot for this plant is an unobstructed south-facing location where it’s exposed to ample sunlight throughout the day, as this mimics its natural habitat and promotes vigorous growth and flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Tower of Jewels is adapted to a moderate climate and performs best in temperatures between 50°F and 80°F. However, it can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F for short periods and highs up to around 100°F. The plant is not frost-tolerant, so it should be protected or moved indoors if temperatures are expected to drop below the minimum range.

  • scissorsPruning

    Tower of Jewels requires minimal pruning, mainly to remove spent flower spikes and encourage further flowering. Prune after the main flowering spike has finished, typically in late summer or fall. Pruning is also useful to shape the plant, maintain its size, and remove any damaged or diseased foliage. Prune as needed, but avoid excessive cutting back as the main stem does not resprout.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Tower of jewels prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH, ideally between 6.0 and 7.5. A mix of equal parts potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice is beneficial to ensure proper drainage and aeration. Amend the mixture with organic matter, such as compost, to provide nutrients.

  • plantRepotting

    The Tower of Jewels should be repotted every two to three years or when it has outgrown its current pot. It is essential to repot during the plant's dormant period, typically in the fall or early spring, to minimize stress on the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Tower of jewels thrives in low to moderate humidity conditions, typical of its native habitat in the Canary Islands. It performs well in the average humidity levels found in most homes and outdoor environments, without the need for additional humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide full sun, well-draining soil, and occasional watering for indoor Tower of Jewels.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun, well-drained soil, and water sparingly for outdoor Tower of Jewels.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Echium wildpretii, commonly known as Tower of Jewels, begins its life cycle as a seed, which upon germination, grows into a small rosette of silver-hairy leaves. During its first year, the plant focuses on developing a strong root system and leafy growth. In its second year, it produces a tall flower spike, often reaching up to 3 meters in height, adorned with hundreds of small, vibrant red or pink flowers that are very attractive to bees and other pollinators. After flowering, which can last several weeks, the plant sets seed, ensuring the continuation of its species. Once seeding is complete, the Tower of Jewels dies, following a monocarpic pattern where it flowers, seeds, and then ends its life cycle. The seeds then either drop to the ground to begin the next generation or are dispersed by wind, birds, or other mechanisms.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Propogation: Tower of Jewels, or Echium wildpretii, is most commonly propagated through its seeds. The best time to sow seeds is in the spring, after the last frost has passed. The method involves preparing a well-draining soil mix in a seed tray or pots where the seeds are thinly scattered and lightly covered with soil. Seeds require a warm and moist environment to germinate; maintaining a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) is ideal. The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged. Germination can take from one to three weeks. Once the seedlings have developed a few true leaves and are sturdy enough, they can be transplanted outdoors or into larger pots.