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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Larry Halverson     (Photo ID #81468)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Echium vulgare
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

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 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)
834 670 1050
Slope Gradient (%)
54 30 65

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

219 175 280
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 1 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Taxonomic 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.