Plant Assessment Form

Echium candicans

Synonyms: Echium branchyanthum Hornem., Echium cynoglossoides Desf., Echium densiflorum DC., Echium fastuosum auct. Non Dryander ex Aiton, Echium macrophyllum Lehm., Echium pallidum Salisb., a few others

Common Names: pride-of-Madeira

Evaluated on: 08/01/04 & 01/03/06

List committee review date: 25/10/2017

Re-evaluation date:


David Chang, Agricultural Program Specialist Coordinator, Weed Management Area
County of Santa Barbara, Agricultural Commissioner's Office
263 Camino del Remedio; Santa Barbara CA 93110
(805) 681-5600

List committee members

Joe DiTomaso
Peter Warner
Alison Stanton
Cynthia Roye
John Randall
Jake Sigg

General Comments

This assessment is based on Joe DiTomaso's pre-published document, my observation of one serious patch at the Coast Gallery, on the observation of an infestation in San Diego County by Carolyn Martus, a few anecdotal web site comments and a comment from Dieter Wilken.
From the appearance of the infestation at the Coast Gallery it appears to me that E.candicans could be invasive. The infestation occurs on a steep hillside and appears unlikely to have been intentionally planted. Carolyn Martus, active CNPS/Cal-IPC member and WMA participant, reports that E.candicans is growing wild in San Diego County at the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. However, Dieter Wilken believes it unlikely that E.candicans is invasive.

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? Limited
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 2 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes U. Unknown Reviewed Scientific Publication
Four-part score UCUD Total Score
1.2 ?Impact on plant community C. Minor Observational
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels U. Unknown
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity D. None Other Published Material
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment B. Moderate Observational
Total Points
13 Total Score B
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management B. Increases less rapidly Observational
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state C. Stable Observational
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
A. High Other Published Material
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal A. High Observational
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal D. None Observational
2.7 ?Other regions invaded B. Invades 1 or 2 ecological types Observational
3.1 ?Ecological amplitude/Range
(see Worksheet C)
A. Widespread Observational
Total Score B
3.2 ?Distribution/Peak frequency
(see Worksheet C)
D. Very low Observational

Table 3. Documentation

Scores are explained in the "Criteria for Categorizing Invasive Non-Native Plants that Threaten Wildlands".

Section 1: Impact
Question 1.1 Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes? U Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:

Sources of information:

Question 1.2 Impact on plant community composition,
structure, and interactions?
C Observational
Identify type of impact or alteration:

fragmentation of a native community Carolyn Martus provided photo documentation of a population of E.candicans invading what appears to be coastal bluff scrub. E.candicans appears to be invading a healthy community by seeding itself between the native vegetation.
Committee's consensus (1/10/06) is that it is present but there is only minor evidence of specific impacts or displacement of native plants.

Sources of information:

David Chang, observational; Carolyn Martus, photo documentation

Question 1.3 Impact on higher trophic levels? U
Identify type of impact or alteration:

Toxic, but specific impacts unknown

Sources of information:

Observational Joe DiTomaso, Jake Sigg. 2004.

Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? D Other Published Material

The description of E.candicans in the Jepson manual makes this statement: "Several spp. cult on CA coast,> 1 probably naturalized, some may be hybrids. Pls with pink to pale blue corollas and nutlets sharply tubercled are called E. strictum L.f. Pls 2-3 m with basal lf rosette and +- cylindric infl 1+ m are called E. pininana Webb & Berth."

Sources of information:

Hickman, James C. The Jepson Manual. 1996

Section 2: Invasiveness
Question 2.1 Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance
in establishment?
B Observational
Describe role of disturbance:

tolerant of poor soils and able to tolerate drought, once established
Looking at pictures that I took, of a wildland infestation at the Coast Gallery on Highway 1 south of Big Sur, there are hundreds of Echium plants growing down a steep hill - an area that seems unlikely to have been intentionally planted or could have only have been intentionally planted by throwing seeds or propagative parts down the cliff bank. There are small plants seen in the pictures. I've also noticed individual plants growing on the roadsides of Highway 154 in Santa Barbara County away from garden areas, but I cannot be certain whether these plants are garden escapes or garden remnants.
However, Dieter Wilken stated on 7/28/04, in an email to me, " Its been over 10 years since I did the treatment of those taxa for the Jepson Manual, and I had a lot of assistance from Elizabeth McClintock at the time. The two species, as I recall, are found primarily in the bay area. I find it hard to believe that Echium candicans would be considered invasive _ its largely an urban weed along the coast, and then only in a few localities (at least in the early 1990s). As far as I know, Echium does not have a highly dispersable fruit. Plants persist for many decades. Its possible that someone planted at least one plant there many years ago, and it has slowly expanded at the site. One sees young plants or seedlings only very rarely. Elizabeth McClintock took me to a population on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay that had several hundred plants. I recall her saying that they had persisted there since the late 1940s but that there was hardly any recruitment (i.e. small plants with few branches). Once established, however, the plants seem to survive even the harshest droughts. However, a deep frost usually kills them _ one reason why they are found only along the coast in California."
I also found mentions of pride of Madeira naturalizing or occuring in natural areas in California on two websites - and Based on appearance of the infestation at the Coast Gallery and at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Preserve, E.candicans appears able to invade established native plant communities

Sources of information:

David Chang, observational; Carolyn Martus, observational, Dieter Wilken, observational, and DiTomaso, J & Healy, E. Weeds of California and Other Western States. As yet unpublished. Pg 218-220.

Question 2.2 Local rate of spread with no management? B Observational
Describe rate of spread:

Plants spread outward, but more slowly than doubling in 10 years

Sources of information:

Observational Peter Warner, Jake Sigg. 2004.

Question 2.3 Recent trend in total area infested within state? C Observational
Describe trend:

Most infestations are near plantings, the plant's been here a long time and is not spreading quickly.

Sources of information:

Observational Peter Warner, Joe DiTomaso. 2004.

Question 2.4 Innate reproductive potential? A Other Published Material
Describe key reproductive characteristics:

It is documented that E.candicans reproduces by seed. The document makes no reference to any other reproductive method. Lots of flowers are produced by a single plant. Fruits consist of 4 nutlets on a flat receptacle surrounded by the calyx
DiTomaso & Healy Preprinted document states Reproduces by seed. No other reproductive mechanism mentioned, but seedlings seldom encountered
and an anecdotal reference, a website, that states that it can grow from seedling to flowering in just a couple of years.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, J & Healy, E. Weeds of California and Other Western States. As yet unpublished. Pg 218-220.
and a website
Observational Peter Warner, Jake Sigg, Joe DiTomaso. 2004

Question 2.5 Potential for human-caused dispersal? A Observational
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

E.candicans is available for purchase in nurseries and widely planted in gardens. direct observation

Sources of information:

David Chang, observational

Question 2.6 Potential for natural long-distance dispersal? D Observational
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

likely, that seeds drop near the parent plant apparent escapes are often quite near ornamental plantings.

Sources of information:

David Chang, observational

Question 2.7 Other regions invaded? B Observational
Identify other regions:

I personally know of two serious wildland infestations. All other observations by me are of individual plants seen sporadically on roadsides close to urban areas. direct observation and mentions on websites

Sources of information:

David Chang, observational and websites

Section 3: Distribution
Question 3.1 Ecological amplitude/Range? A Observational

The most serious patch I have personally observed is at the Coast Gallery on Highway 1 south of Big Sur. That observation was in June of 2004. Dieter Wilken mentions a patch he viewed on Angel Island. And I found two mentions on the internet of naturalization.

Sources of information:

David Chang, observational
Observatinal Peter Warner, Joe DiTomaso. 2004

Question 3.2 Distribution/Peak frequency? D Observational
Describe distribution:

A serious patch exists on Highway 1 south of Big Sur and at the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and sporadic roadside observations, and other observations as mentioned, previously. direct observation

Sources of information:

Observational David Chang, Carolyn Martus 2005

Worksheet A - Innate reproductive potential

Reaches reproductive maturity in 2 years or less Yes
Dense infestations produce >1,000 viable seed per square meter Yes
Populations of this species produce seeds every year. Yes
Seed production sustained over 3 or more months within a population annually Yes
Seeds remain viable in soil for three or more years Yes
Viable seed produced with both self-pollination and cross-pollination Yes
Has quickly spreading vegetative structures (rhizomes, roots, etc.) that may root at nodes No
Fragments easily and fragments can become established elsewhere No
Resprouts readily when cut, grazed, or burned Yes
Total points: 9
Total unknowns: 0
Total score: A?

Related traits:

Worksheet B - Arizona Ecological Types is not included here

Worksheet C - California Ecological Types

(sensu Holland 1986)
Major Ecological Types Minor Ecological Types Code?
Marine Systemsmarine systems
Freshwater and Estuarine lakes, ponds, reservoirs
Aquatic Systemsrivers, streams, canals
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrubD, < 5%
coastal scrubD, < 5%
Sonoran desert scrub
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)
Great Basin scrub
chenopod scrub
montane dwarf scrub
Upper Sonoran subshrub scrub
Grasslands, Vernal Pools, Meadows, and other Herb Communitiescoastal prairieD, < 5%
valley and foothill grassland
Great Basin grassland
vernal pool
meadow and seep
alkali playa
pebble plain
Bog and Marshbog and fen
marsh and swamp
Riparian and Bottomland habitatriparian forest
riparian woodland
riparian scrub (incl.desert washes)D, < 5%
Woodlandcismontane woodland
piñon and juniper woodland
Sonoran thorn woodland
Forestbroadleaved upland forest
North Coast coniferous forest
closed cone coniferous forest
lower montane coniferous forest
upper montane coniferous forest
subalpine coniferous forest
Alpine Habitatsalpine boulder and rock field
alpine dwarf scrub
Amplitude (breadth): B
Distribution (highest score): D

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • Central West
  • Northwest
  • Southwest