Anchusa officinalis

Scientific Name Anchusa officinalis
Common Names English: Common bugloss, common alkanet; German: Gemeine Ochsenzunge, French: Buglosse officinale; Spanish: Buglosa; Italian: buglossa comune
Description Perennial herb with a deep taproot, belongs to the family of Boraginaceae.

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

Flowers purplish blue.
Tube uncurved. 5 equal lobes in a cyme (coiled flower stem) of more than 5, leaves linear, not wavy, hairs do not have warty base.

Stems

Robust hairy, angular stems grow 30 - 60 cm (1 - 2 feet) at maturity. Plants produce several flowering stalks.

Leaves

Lower leaves are lance-shaped with a stalk attaching it to stems while upper leaves are stalkless with either smooth or slightly toothed edges. The slightly pointed leaves are succulent and fleshy and covered with stiff hairs.

Propagatio Organs

Flowers

Initially reddish, later turning deep blue to purple with white centers. Flowers originate at the ends of the stalks with each flower stem coiled like a fiddleneck at first. As each flower bud opens the coil gradually straightens out.

Flowering Period

June-October.

Fruit

Four chambered nutlet; each nutlet contains one seed.

Seeds

Main germination period is from July-October.

Propagation

Each flower produces 4 small, nutlet-like seeds. One plant produces an average of 900 seeds.

Occurrence

Habitat

Roadsides, pastures and waste ground, preferring warmer areas.

Soil

Dry, nutritious, but lime free, sandy and gravelly soils.

Agricultural Importance

Common bugloss invades alfalfa fields, pastures, and waste areas. The fleshy stalks can cause hay bales to mold.

Control

Integrated Crop Management

To avoid further spread of common bugloss prevent seed production to uninfested areas. Cut or pull isolated plants before flowering. If flowering has occurred, bag and remove the plants.

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