Breaking News
Home / World News / How the Denver Botanic Gardens proved it could grow a plant that looks like it came from Dr. Seuss’s sketchbook – The Denver Post

How the Denver Botanic Gardens proved it could grow a plant that looks like it came from Dr. Seuss’s sketchbook – The Denver Post

Warm spring temperatures brings an abundance of plants and flowers to the surface, including Tower-of Jewels, Echium wildpretii, at the Denver Botanic Gardens on April 19, 2017 in Denver.

Kathryn Scott, The Denver Post

Warm spring temperatures brings an abundance of plants and flowers to the surface, including Tower-of Jewels, Echium wildpretii, at the Denver Botanic Gardens on April 19, 2017 in Denver.

Over the past 18 months, horticulturists at Denver Botanic Gardens went to great lengths to sow tiny seeds and nurture them into spectacular flowering plants now standing about 5-feet tall — and growing. The botanical name Echium wildpretii doesn’t do the plants as much justice as the common name: Tower of Jewels.

“It’s one of my favorite plants,” horticulturist Nicholas Giaquinto said of echium (pronounced EK-ee-um). “We wanted another amazing plant of interest during early spring when most things are still starting to emerge — something that would wow people.”

Exotically beautiful and impressively tall, echium are the supermodels of the gardens’ April display. Now gracing the orangerie, the containerized echium will live outdoors once nighttime temperatures warm to above 28 degrees.

Echium spout a fountain of silvery foliage. Large spikes fringed with leaves in a twisting pattern bear tiny, delicate flowers that change color as they bloom. With a form that could have flowed from the imagination of Dr. Seuss, echium originate on tiny Tenerife, a sunny Canary Island off the coast of Morocco. In the wild, plants grow up to 8-feet tall in the sub-alpine zone at elevations of 4,200 to 6,500 feet above sea level.

Echium self-seed like weeds around San Francisco; yet given our colder winters, cultivating the biennials in the Mile High City is no walk in the park. Denver’s echium adventure began several years ago when Denver Botanic Gardens horticulturist Bridget Blomquist saw the magnificent plants online and wanted to grow them.

Propagation horticulturist Katy Wieczorek realized the difficulty of cultivating these plants in Denver, yet accepted the challenge. A cadre of horticulturists devotedly cared for the echium as seeds germinated and plants flourished.

Echium prefer well drained soil, so the potting mix includes orchid bark, large perlite and charcoal. “It dries out faster, so we can water more often,” Giaquinto said.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

In Denver, the trend toward Mexican-inspired craft beer comes with a message — The Know

Head brewer Jason Buehler poses for a portrait at Cerveceria Colorado on Thursday, April 19, …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: