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 Chile, 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.
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
- "Echium vulgare". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 17 December 2017.
- "Echium vulgare L." Retrieved 20 August 2015.
- Graves, Melissa; Mangold, Jane; Jacobs, Jim. "Biology, Ecology and Management of Blueweed" (PDF). store.msuextension.org. Montana State University. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- Dorothy Hodges (1952). The pollen loads of the honeybee. Bee Research Association Ltd., London.
- "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.
- Fitter, R. & A. (1974). The Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins.
- "RHS Plantfinder - Echium vulgare 'Blue Bedder'". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 35. Retrieved 24 January 2018.