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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Virginia Skilton     (Photo ID #13926)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Anchusa officinalis
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


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
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Anchusa procera Besser ex Link