Blueweed (Echium vulgare)

 
 
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Caution/Poisonous

Description
A biennial, usually, a rosette during the first year of growth and produces a flowering stem during the second year. Branching plant that reaches 75 cm in height. Stems are harshly hairy with a mixture of a few, scattered, long, stiff hairs among dense short hair, the longer hair having swollen reddish or blackish bases visible as small bumps on the stem surface Rosette leaves are oblong to linear- lanceolate in outline, up to 18 cm long and reaching 3 cm in width. Rosette leaves narrow to a short petiole. Leaves that occur on the flowering stem are also oblong to linear-lanceolate in outline but do not have petioles. Flowering stem leaves also become progressively smaller up the stem. All leaves have white 'speckles' that give the leaves a dimpled appearance and also have relatively long white hairs. Flowers somewhat resemble a funnel and also have external hairs. Bright blue to purple in color, approximately 8 to 12 mm long. Flowers are numerous in 1-sided, short, arching branches near the top of the stem. Forming an irregular corolla with the upper lobes longer than the lower ones.

CAUTION: Bristly hairs on this plant cause skin irritation and may be poisonous.


Key Identifiers
  • Deep thick taproot
  • 'Dimpled' appearance of the leaves and harshly rough-hairy throughout.
  • Bright blue to purple flowers with unequally lobed corolla with protruding stamens
Location in Canada
Blueweed is located in every southern Canadian province, BC to Newfoundland.

Resources
Similar species
Curled Dock (Rumex crispus) at rosette stage, may be confused but doesn’t have white-speckled and 'dimpled' leaves like blueweed.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Nicole Kimmel.
This document is maintained by Shelley Barkley.
This information published to the web on March 12, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on December 7, 2017.