common viper's bugloss
Echium vulgare L.


Echium vulgare a biennial that takes on a rosette growth habit during the first year of growth and produces a flowering stem during the second year. Plants are covered with long hairs. The 'dimpled' appearance of the leaves and bright blue to purple flowers helps to distinguish this plant from most other species.
Rosette leaves are oblong to lanceolate, 2-6 in. (5.1-15.2 cm) long and up to 1.25 in. (3.2 cm) wide. Rosette leaves narrow to a short petiole. Leaves that occur on the flowering stem are also oblong to lanceolate but do not have petioles. All leaves have white 'speckles' that give the leaves a dimpled appearance and also have relatively long white hairs.
Abundant flowers are bright blue to purple in color, approximately 0.31-0.47 (8-12 mm) long. Flowers somewhat resemble a funnel and also have external hairs.
Seeds are 0.8-0.12 in. (2-3 mm) long, brownish grey in color, and have a rough texture.
Ecological Threat
Echium vulgare is primarily a weed of pastures, roadsides, and non-crop areas. It is native to Eurasia.

Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Echium
Subject: Echium vulgare L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
common vipersbugloss, blueweed, common echium


Plants - Forbs/Herbs