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Pride of Madeira is a fast growing shrub with a mounding form and woody branching structure that easily reaches 6-8 ft. tall and 8-10 ft. wide when given space. Foliage is comprised of soft gray-green tapered leaves that attach to heavy stems. Dramatic spikes of blue to purple flowers cover the plant in early to mid spring and can last for several weeks. The cultivar, E. c. 'Star of Madeira,' has striking white to yellow leaf margins and is not as robust as the species.

Pride of Madeira is native to the Canary Islands where it grows on rocky slopes, in full sun with wind and periods of seasonal drought. As a result, it is well adapted all parts of the Inland Empire where it needs space to accommodate its robust growth rate and size. Too much water results in excess growth; older plants can be pruned to reveal interesting branching. This is a good choice for slopes and banks and around garden perimeters.

Water Needs

The pride of Madeira is a robust plant that grows well in sunny locations withy low amounts of supplemental water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; flowering is best with the higher moisture range during the spring flowering season.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Robust, Open, Mounding, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 6 ft. - 8 ft.
Width: 8 ft. - 10 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green, Gray green
Flower Color: Purple, Blue
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Drought, Coastal salt air, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Slopes, Screening, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Banks, Background plant, Attracts bees, Attracts butterflies


Prune dead flower stalks after spring blooms by cutting them out entirely (5). May prune lightly sin summer to keep dense foliage (D). This plant is quite large, but generally does not spread aggressively when used in urban inland Southern California. However, it can be invasive in coastal areas, and although beautiful, should not be used as it may spread aggressively to wild areas (S). To be safe, it should also not be used on properties near wild areas inland as well (S).



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