Echium vulgare — known as viper's bugloss and blueweed — is a species of flowering plant in the borage family Boraginaceae. It is native to most of Europe, and western and central Asia and it occurs as an introduced species in north-eastern North America.
It is a biennial or monocarpic perennial plant growing to 30–80 cm (12–31 in) tall, with rough, hairy, oblanceolate leaves. The flowers start pink and turn vivid blue and are 15–20 mm (0.59–0.79 in) in a branched spike, with all the stamens protruding. The pollen is blue but the filaments of the stamens remain red, contrasting against the blue flowers. It flowers between May and September.
It is native to Europe and temperate Asia. It has been introduced to North America and is naturalised in parts of the continent including northern Michigan, being listed as an invasive species in Washington state. It is found in dry calcareous grassland and heaths, bare and waste places, along railways and roadsides, and on coastal cliffs, sand dunes and shingle.
Where the Viper's bugloss is an invasive species humans are trying to regulate them by weeding them.
Viper's bugloss being pollinated by skipper butterflies
- Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; & Dickinson, R. (2004) ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 203.
- Flora Europaea: Echium vulgare
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- Graves, Melissa; Mangold, Jane; Jacobs, Jim. "Biology, Ecology and Management of Blueweed" (PDF). store.msuextension.org. Montana State University. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
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- "Common viper's bugloss: Echium vulgare (Lamiales: Boraginaceae): Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States". www.invasiveplantatlas.org. Invasive Pant Atlas of the United States. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
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- "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 35. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
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