Warning

Seek medical attention for all ingestions.

Description

Evergreen ornamental shrubs ranging in size from small compact shrubs 20 to 60cm tall up to 1 to 2m.

Flowers are clustered on long spikes, light blue through to blue purple in colour, sometimes white or pink, 1 to 2cm long with exserted stamens.

Leaves are alternate on the stem, oblong to lanceolate tapering to a fine tip, softly hairy (E. candicans) or with stiff hairs (E. plantagineum).

Toxicity

  • Potentially toxic

  • Irritant to skin or eyes

Symptoms

The whole plant is poisonous. Toxicity usually occurs from use in herbal remedies. Symptoms can be delayed days to weeks after ingestion and may include acute liver disease and gastroenteritis; enlarged liver and spleen, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Stiff hairs on the plant can cause skin irritation and dermatitis.

Images

Photo by Lorna Ngugi
Photo by Lorna Ngugi

Common name: Pride of Madiera

Botanical nameEchium candicans spp. (includes E. plantagineum, E. candicans)

Other common names: Salvation Jane

Family: Boraginaceae

General description: Evergreen ornamental shrubs ranging in size from small compact shrubs 20 to 60cm tall up to 1 to 2m.

Flowers: Flowers are clustered on long spikes, light blue through to blue purple in colour, sometimes white or pink, 1 to 2cm long with exserted stamens.

Leaves: Leaves are alternate on the stem, oblong to lanceolate tapering to a fine tip, softly hairy (E. candicans) or with stiff hairs (E. plantagineum).

Fruit/Berries: The fruit are small wrinkled nutlets.

Last updated: July 2023