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30 April 2020

Pride of Madeira. Captured with an Olympus E-PL1 and 14-42mm II R zoom at 42mm and f5.6, 1/400 second and ISO 200. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

These things are all over the place around here with several of notable stands on the way up Twin Peaks. They grow in groups on the side of the hill, blooming in the spring and drying out into mere skeletons of themselves in the summer.

We threw a JPEG of the peculiar plant at Pl@ntNet to find out it's echium candicans or the Pride of Madeira.

Pl@ntNet also provides a Wikipedia link (but to the French version of the site), which we translated into English for you:

Echium candicans is a plant species of the Boraginaceae family. It is a biennial herbaceous plant or more commonly a perennial plant. It belongs to the genus Viperines. Endemic to Madeira Island, it is found as an ornamental plant in many countries.

Madeira is a Portuguese island off the African coast with a population of just over 262,000.

It's the peak of a large volcano submerged in the Atlantic Ocean. The island was formed almost entirely of lava flow from that volcano. Its low profile built up by that lava oozing over itself resembles a warrior's shield.

Before we knew anything about it, we shot this one facing into the sun to highlight its spiky blue flowers against the dark background.

But now that we know it's name and home, it seems even more exotic to us. Especially in this light.

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