Echium

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Related to bugloss: borage, sweet woodruff

Echium

 

(viper’s bugloss), a genus of plants of the family Boraginaceae. The plants are annual, biennial, or perennial stiff-haired herbs or, rarely, shrubs. The leaves are alternate and entire. The irregular flowers are dark blue, purple, yellow, or white; they are gathered in bostryces, which form a panicled inflorescence. The calyx is dissected almost to its base, and the corolla is funnel-shaped and oblique. The fruit consists of four nutlets.

There are more than 40 species, distributed in Europe, West Asia, and northern and southern Africa. Five species are found in the USSR. The blue-weed (E. vulgare), a biennial with dark blue flowers, grows in wastelands and deserts, on slopes, along roads, in fields and in overgrown places. Echium is a valuable nectariferous plant and source of beebread. The blue-weed is often cultivated. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Echium rossicum (formerly E. rubrum) is found in the steppe zone of the European USSR, in the Caucasus, and in Middle Asia. Its roots contain a dye.

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to wonder why the white geranium lurking under the bugloss made me feel
To name but a few, alkanet, vipers bugloss, hounds tongue, borage, comfrey, lungwort and heliotrope are all close relatives of the common forget-me-not, often having very hairy, almost prickly leaves and white, blue and red flat or tubular flowers that are loved by bees.
PLANT of the week COMMON BUGLOSS OR ALKANET Anchusa officinalis The bright sapphire blue flowers of alkanet catch my eye every day in the garden.
Gower is an all round resource for plant and ower lovers, in the spring oering bluebells, ramsons, cowslip and common dog-violet, in the summer, thrift, lady's bedstraw, sea bindweed and viper's bugloss and autumn and winter providing ivy, gorse, mosses, lichens and fungi including olive earth-tongue, mushrooms and puballs.
Dr Gammans said: "New Zealand is about to begin a programme to control Viper's bugloss because it's a non-native plant, but the short-haired bumblebees depend on it, so this is a now-or-never chance to rescue some of these bumblebees."
We're in a dune, see, with rabbits, and a biennial called Viper's Bugloss. Plant names don't come much more edgy.
But, for less of a challenge, grow the native British viper's bugloss, Echium vulgare, also a biennial with rich blue flowers but on bushier, branched stems reaching 30cm-60cm (2ft-3ft).
Plenty of seeds can be sown directly, including pheasant's eye (Adonis aestivalis), love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus), annual woodruff (Asperuis azurea), Swan River Daisy (Brachycome iberidifolia), cornflower (Centaurea), marigolds, Californian poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Convolvulus tricolor, Coreopsis, Clarkia elegans, Clarkia pulchella, larkspur (Consolida ejacis), Viper's bugloss (Echium lycopsis) and Star of the Veldt (Dimorphotheca aurantica).