Echium pininana is native to La Palma in the Canary Islands. It is typically biennial, it grows with large rosettes of silver and hairy leaves in the first year. In year two or three it will flower, producing a single 3 to 5 metre high flower spire filled with blue, funnel-shaped flowers.
It is best planted in full sun and well-drained soils and has no problem with strong winds. It should winter hardy in most parts of Ireland and once you get it to flower you will always have one as it is a prolific seeder! Remember being a monocarpic plant, it will die after flowering, with the new plants emerging in abundance the following year.
It is a magnet for bees and butterflies. On any sunny summer day you will (and hear) large numbers of bees at work in the flowers.