Echium vulgare viper’s bugloss; blue-weed Boraginaceae ECVU*; Bx, pb (DeCandido 2001); Q (DeCandido 2001); R (DeCandido 2001);

   

Echium vulgare.commons.wikipedia.org

Echium vulgare.commons.wikipedia.org. (Accessed 4/2014).

Echium vulgare is a biennial herb, 30-100 cm tall gray-green, from a taproot, stems bristly-hairy, often with small red dot at base of each bristle; hairs irritating.

Echium vulgare  rosette leaves. Randall G Prostak. Uuniversity of Massachusetts. extention.umass.edu

Echium vulgare rosette leaves. Randall G Prostak. Uuniversity of Massachusetts. extention.umass.edu (Accessed 4/2018).

Leaves initially in a basal rosette, narrow, widest above middle, 6-25 cm long including stalk, 0.5-3 cm wide, stem leaves becoming smaller upward, stalkless. 

 

Echium vulgare  (viper's bugloss) flower close-up. Randall G. Prostak. University of Massachusetts.  extention.umass.edu

Echium vulgare (viper’s bugloss) flower close-up. Randall G. Prostak. University of Massachusetts. extention.umass.edu (Accessed 4/2018).

Flowers bright blue, (occasionally pink or white) showy, to 2 cm long, tubular, irregular, funnel-shaped, petal lobes 5, unequal, stamens and stigma longer than petal lobes, flowers embedded in small hairy bracts; inflorescence of one-sided spikes in axils along top part of stem, immature spikes coiled (circinate, scorpioid, helicoid), unrolling as flowers develop and bloom. Pollinated Visited by bumblebees and numerous other insects probably for nectar (Klemow et al. 2002). 

Echium vulgare. By Paul Busselen. Copyright © 2018 Paul Busselen. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Kortrijk. New England Wild Flower Society. gobotany.newenglandwild.org

Echium vulgare. By Paul Busselen. Copyright © 2018 Paul Busselen. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Kortrijk. New England Wild Flower Society. gobotany.newenglandwild.org (Accessed 4/2018).

Fruit of 1-4 nutlets; blooming and fruiting June-Sept. Seeds dispersed mostly by falling to ground by parent plant but also by attachment of old flowers to fur or clothing, plant may also break off and act as a tumbleweed (Klemow et al. 2002). 

Wetland status: NL. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Southern Europe. 

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, dry soil. 

Notes: Produces toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, but has been used as a medicinal since ancient times. Plants fed upon by a number of insects and is infected by several fungi (Klemow et al. 2002). Listed as a noxious weed in 46 states (USDA, NRCS 2010).