Vascular – Exotic
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
Hispid annual or biennial herb to c. 90 cm high. Basal leaves to c. 15 x 3.5 cm, linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate; base attenuate and petiolate; apex obtuse; upper cauline leaves smaller, sessile, lanceolate to oblong, more or less cordate at base. Inflorescence with 1-several branches; branches becoming spike-like or panniculate. Calyx 9-12 mm long; lobes linear-lanceolate, much < corolla tube. Carolla 20-30 mm long, funnelform, reddish in bud, becoming purplish blue or blue; upper lobes > lower; 2 stamens long-exserted, others included; filiaments deep pink; anthers blue. Nutlets 2-3 mm long, angular. (Webb et al 1988).
Can be distinguished from E. vulgare by 2 stamens long-exserted, and the upper cauline leaves are more or less cordate at the base. E. Vulgare has 4 stamens long-exserted, and the upper cauline leaves are rounded at the base.
(September) December, January, February (May)
Northern Mediterranean to South England
echium: Possibly named the Greek echis ‘viper’, named for the seeds’ resemblance to a vipers’ head. The plant was believed by the 1st century physician Dioscoridesbe to be a remedy for a viper’s bite.
Reason For Introduction
Life Cycle Comments
Annual or Biennial.
restricted to warmer areas.