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Blueweed Flowers_edited_edited.jpg
  • Biennial to short-lived perennial herb, growing up to 1 meter (3 feet tall)

  • Introduced from North Africa as a garden ornamental

(Echium vulgare)

Quick Identification

  • Purplish-blue, funnel-shaped flowers on the upper side of short arching branches

  • Seed stalk resembles a viper’s head

  • Stalk and leaves are bristly or hairy

Blueweed is an aggressive species with the potential to cause significant damage to grassland and open forest areas.  It is unpalatable to grazers and crowds out beneficial native species, reducing forage for wildlife and cattle.

Numerous bright, purplish-blue (occasionally white or pink), funnel-shaped flowers arranged on the upper side of short arching branches. Five petals. Buds are reddish-purple before opening.

Leaves & Stems
First year basal rosette radiates from central point. Rosette leaves have entire margins, taper towards stalk, and are rounded at the tips. Flowering stalks grow from the rosette during the second year . Stem leaves are lance-shaped with
entire margins, and are alternately arranged.  Stem hairs are prickly.

Blueweed Plant_edited.jpg

Stout, black taproot with smaller fibrous lateral roots. Reaches 60cm (2ft) long.

Reproduction & Dispersal
By seeds. Most seeds fall near the parent plant, but seeds also travel though infested gravel, water, animals, heavy machinery and vehicles.

Fruit is a cluster of four angular, wrinkled seeds that are grayish-brown when mature. Each plant may produce up to 2,800 seeds.

Preferred Habitat
Found in gravely riparian areas, roadsides, pastures, and meadows at low to mid-elevations. Well-adapted to dry, rocky, sandy or shallow soils, especially glacial till.

Interesting Facts
Typically not eaten by grazing animals easily out competes native species in range land.

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