Echium /ˈɛkiəm/ is a genus of approxemately 70 species and several subspecies of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae. The type species is Echium vulgare. Species of Echium are native to North Africa, mainland Europe to Central Asia and the Macaronesian islands, where it reaches its maximum diversity. There are 27 known species of Echium endemic to the Canary, Madeira, and Cape Verde archipelagos. The continental species are herbaceous, whereas all but two of the endemic species of the Macaronesian islands are woody perennial shrubs .