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Common Bugloss Flowers
  • Deep tap-rooted perennial in the Borage family

  • Grows 0.8 metres tall

  • Introduced from Europe

Common Bugloss Rosette

Common bugloss
(Anchusa officinalis)

Quick Identification

  • Deep purple to blue flowers with white centers

  • Flowers originate at the ends of the stalks with each flower stem coiled like a fiddle neck

  • Fleshy, hairy leaves  grow smaller in size towards the top of the stem

Common bugloss invades pastures, road edges, and range areas. It forms dense monocultures excluding the native vegetation and reducing forage for wildlife and livestock.

Hand pulling or digging is effective if entire root is
removed. This is best done when soil is moist. Wear gloves to avoid skin contact.  If flowers are sarting to emerge or seed heads are forming, remove from the plant and bag. Selective herbicides are effective.

Flower stems coil like fiddleheads but
straighten out as each bud opens.  Deep purple to blue flowers with white c
entres are most common but shades can range from purple to white.

Leaves & Stems
Common bugloss has fleshy, hairy leaves that grow smaller in size towards the top of the stem. Young plants resemble blueweed and are dark green in colour.

Preferred Habitat
Favours dry, fertile, well-drained soils. It is found on grasslands, roadsides, dry fields, pastures, and disturbed areas in British Columbia.

Common Bugloss Infestation_edited.jpg

Long, dark, woody taproot. New shoots develop from root stock fragments.

Reproduction & Dispersal
Seeds drop around the parent plant but are also spread by animals that ingest them or when stalks break free and are blown around.  Seeds or soil containing seeds can be tracked to new sites by vehicles, shoes, or by animals.  The movement of gravel, soil, or contaminated hay also aids the spread.

Each flower produces four nut-like seeds each. One plant produces an average of 900 seeds.

Interesting Facts
Though not poisonous to livestock or wildlife, it has been shown to reduce carrying capacity in pasture lands.

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