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

Echium vulgare L.
viper's bugloss (blueweed; common viper's bugloss)
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #81468)

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Distribution of Echium vulgare
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Species Information

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Biennial herb from a taproot, roughly long- or short-hairy and spreading-bristly, the bristles often bulbous-based; stems single, 30-80 cm tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate, narrowed to stalk, 6-25 cm long (stalk included), 0.5-3 cm wide; stem leaves becoming smaller and unstalked upward, alternate, entire.
Inflorescence of numerous short, coiled clusters in a long, narrow (often wandlike) cluster; corollas funnel-shaped, asymmetric (upper part longer); petals blue (sometimes pink or white), fused at base into a short tube that flares at top into 5 unequal lobes, the throat open without bulges; 4 of 5 stamens exserted from the corolla.
Nutlets 4, clustered together, angular, roughened and wrinkled.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in C and S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent on the coast; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes

Blueweed is a species of disturbed sites and roadsides. It is listed by the Invasive Plant Council of British Columbia as one of BC's most unwanted species. Visit their web site.


Ecological Framework for Echium vulgare

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) 670 834 1050
Slope Gradient (%) 30 54 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
175 219 280
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 3
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: IDF(4), PP(1)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References