E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Anchusa officinalis L.
alkanet (common bugloss)
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13926)

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Distribution of Anchusa officinalis
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Species Information

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Biennial or perennial herb from a taproot, softly spreading-hairy; stems often several, 30-80 cm tall.
Basal and lower leaves stalked, oblanceolate, 6-20 cm long (stalk included) and 1-2.5 cm wide, the others gradually reduced upwards, becoming unstalked and more lanceolate, alternate, entire.
Inflorescence a coiled cluster; petals blue-purple, fused into a tube 6-11 mm long that spreads (6-11 mm wide) at the top to 5 tooth-shaped lobes, throat closed by 5 white, hairy bulges; calyx lobes 5, lanceolate, stiff-hairy.
Nutlets 4, clustered together, horizontal, squat, asymmetric or conical, concave and with a thickened rim at the base, 2 mm high, 3-4 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides and waste places in the lowland, steppe and lower montane zones; rare in SC BC and S Vancouver Island; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Anchusa officinalis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 879 879 879
Slope Gradient (%) 15 15 15
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
210 210 210
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in:


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Anchusa procera Besser ex Link

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References