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Echium vulgare

Echium vulgare (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Boraginales

Familia: Boraginaceae
Subfamilia: Boraginoideae
Tribus: Lithospermeae
Genus: Echium
Sectio: E. sect. Echium
Species: Echium vulgare
Subspecies: E. v. subsp. pustulatum – E. v. subsp. vulgare

Echium vulgare L., Sp. Pl. 1: 139 (1753).

Echium vulgare subsp. genuinum Cout., Fl. Port: 500 (1913), nom. inval.


Echium vulgare Bourg. ex Reut Echium salmanticum Lag.
Echium vulgare Brot. = Echium rauwolfii Delile

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Regional: Northern Europe
Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden.
Regional: Middle Europe
Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic, Slovakia), Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland.
Regional: Southwestern Europe
Corse, France, Portugal, Sardegna, Spain.
Regional: Southeastern Europe
Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Sicilia (Sicily), Turkey-in-Europe, Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia)
Regional: Eastern Europe
Belarus, Baltic States (Estonia, Kaliningrad, Latvia, Lithuania), Krym, Central European Russia, East European Russia, North European Russia, South European Russia, Northwest European Russia, Ukraine.
Continental: Africa
Regional: Northern Africa
Algeria, Morocco.
Regional: Southern Africa
Cape Provinces, Lesotho, Free State, Northern Provinces.
Continental: Asia-Temperate
Regional: Siberia
Altay, Buryatiya, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, West Siberia.
Regional: Russian Far East
Khabarovsk, Primorye, Sakhalin.
Regional: Middle Asia
Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Turkmenistan, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan.
Regional: Caucasus
North Caucasus, Transcaucasus (Armenia, Gruziya)
Regional: Western Asia
Cyprus, East Aegean Islands, Turkey.
Regional: China
Continental: Australasia
Regional: Australia
New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria.
Regional: New Zealand
New Zealand North, New Zealand South.
Continental: Northern America
Regional: Subarctic America
Regional: Western Canada
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan.
Regional: Eastern Canada
New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Isle, Québec.
Regional: Northwestern U.S.A.
Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming.
Regional: North-Central U.S.A.
Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
Regional: Northeastern U.S.A.
Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia,
Regional: Southwestern U.S.A.
Regional: South-Central U.S.A.
New Mexico, Texas.
Regional: Southeastern U.S.A.
Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.
Continental: Southern America
Regional: Southern South America
Argentina South, Chile Central, Chile South.

Note: Grey script indicates introduced occurrences.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 139. Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Echium vulgare in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 16. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Echium vulgare. Published online. Accessed: Oct 05 2020. 2020. Echium vulgare. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 05.
Euro+Med 2006 onwards: Echium vulgare in Euro+Med PlantBase – the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 16.
Hassler, M. 2020. Echium vulgare. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Oct 16. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Echium vulgare in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
العربية: أخيون
беларуская: Сіняк звычайны, Сіняквет звычайны
català: llengua de bou, Bolenga borda, Borratja borda, Cul de porc, Herba viborera, Llengua de bou, Viperina
corsu: Viparina turchina
kaszëbsczi: Zwëczajny mòdrzińc
čeština: hadinec obecný
Cymraeg: Gwiberlys
dansk: Almindelig Slangehoved
Deutsch: Gewöhnlicher Natternkopf
English: viper's bugloss, blueweed

Ελληνικά, Κυπριακά: Καττουδκιά

español: viborera, buglosa, chupamieles, hierba azul, lengua de vaca, paquetequieromañosa, abalea, boninos, buglosa salvaje, cardo, chupamiel, hierba de la víbora, hierba viborera, jarrita, lengua de buey, lengua de buey salvage, lengua de buey salvaje, lenguardia, lenguaza, viborera, viborera común, viborera morada, viperina, vivorera morada, yapazos, yerba de la víbora
eesti: Ussikeel, Harilik ussikeel
euskara: Sugegorri-belar
suomi: Kyläneidonkieli, neidonkieli
français: Vipérine commune, Viperine commune
Gaeilge: Lus nathrach
hornjoserbsce: Wšědna hrimanka, Módry kosmač
magyar: Kígyószisz, terjőke kígyószisz
italiano: Erba viperina
日本語: シベナガムラサキ
ქართული: ლურჯი ძირწითელა
lietuvių: Paprastasis ežeinis
македонски: Волчја опашка
norsk bokmål: Ormehode
Nederlands: Slangenkruid
occitan: Bourrage-fèr, Suçamèlo
polski: Żmijowiec zwyczajny
português: viperina, erva-viperina
Runa Simi: Llunku-llunku
română: Iarba şarpelui, Iarba șarpelui
русский: Синяк обыкновенный
slovenčina: hadinec obyčajný
slovenščina: navadni gadovec
shqip: Ushqerza e rëndomtë
svenska: Blåeld, Rävarompa, Blåtistel, Rävasvans
Türkçe: Adi engerek otu
українська: Синяк звичайний
中文: 蓝蓟

Echium vulgare — known as viper's bugloss and blueweed[1] — is a species of flowering plant in the borage family Boraginaceae. It is native to most of Europe and western and central Asia,[2][3] and it occurs as an introduced species in north-eastern North America.[1][4] The plant root was used in ancient times as a treatment for snake or viper bites.[5] If eaten, the plant is toxic to horses and cattle through the accumulation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the liver.[6][7]


It is a biennial or monocarpic perennial plant growing to 30–80 cm (12–31 in) tall, with rough, hairy, oblanceolate leaves.[8] 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[9] but the filaments of the stamens remain red, contrasting against the blue flowers. It flowers between May and September in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is native to Europe and temperate Asia. It has been introduced to Chile,[10] New Zealand,[11] and North America where it is naturalised in parts of the continent including northern Michigan,[3] being listed as an invasive species in Washington.[12] 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.[13]

E. vulgare is cultivated as an ornamental plant, and numerous cultivars have been developed. The cultivar 'Blue Bedder' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[14][15]

Being pollinated by skipper butterflies


Closeup of flower

Colonizing the banks of a Montreal city highway

White-tailed bumblebee

See also

Monofloral honey
North American nectar sources


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.
"Echium vulgare - Plant Finder". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
"Guide to Poisonous Plants – College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences". Colorado State University. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
Klemow, Kenneth M.; Clements, David R.; Threadgill, Paul F.; Cavers, Paul B. (1 January 2002). "The biology of Canadian weeds. 116. Echium vulgare L." Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 82 (1): 235–248. doi:10.4141/P01-058.
Graves, Melissa; Mangold, Jane; Jacobs, Jim. "Biology, Ecology and Management of Blueweed" (PDF). Montana State University. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
Dorothy Hodges (1952). The pollen loads of the honeybee. Bee Research Association Ltd., London.
"Echium vulgare" New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. Retrieved 2020-11-28.
"Common viper's bugloss: Echium vulgare (Lamiales: Boraginaceae): Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States". 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.

Blanchan, Neltje (2005). Wild Flowers Worth Knowing. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.

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