Pentaglottis sempervirens (green alkanet, evergreen bugloss or alkanet) is a bristly, perennial plant native to Western Europe. It grows to approximately 60 cm (24") to 90 cm (36"), usually in damp or shaded places and often close to buildings. It has brilliant blue flowers, and retains its green leaves through the winter. The plant has difficulty growing in acidic soil (it is calcicolous). Note that the name "alkanet" is also used for dyer's bugloss (Alkanna tinctoria) and common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis). Green Alkanet is an introduced species in the UK, meaning it is not native.
The word "alkanet" derives from Middle English, from Old Spanish alcaneta, diminutive of alcana, "henna", from Medieval Latin alchanna, from Arabic al-ḥinnā’, "henna" : al-: "the" + ḥinnā’, "henna". The genus name Pentaglottis is Greek, meaning "five tongues", and the species name sempervirens is Latin, and means "always alive", or "evergreen".
Green alkanet blooms in spring and early summer. Its stamens are hidden inside narrow flower-tubes which end in a white eye in the centre of a blue flower.
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