Photo credit: Daniel Laubhann
Common Name: Blueweed
Scientific Name: Echium vulgare
Habitat: disturbed areas, roadsides, grassland
Provincial Designation: Noxious
Blueweed is native to Eurasia. It was most likely introduced to North America as an ornamental garden plant. The first herbarium specimen in North America was collected in 1828 but the exact year of introduction is unclear.
This species can invade rangeland and pastures. It is unpalatable and leads to overgrazed pastures.
Typically the 15-20 mm wide blueweed flowers are blue in colour. Occasionally, plants with white or purple flowers can be found. The petals are united and form a funnel-shaped flower with 5 lobes. Each flower has 5 stamens and 3-5 of them will stretch out past the petals.
The leaves are linear to lance-shaped. The basal leaves have a prominent midvein and can grow up to 15 cm long. The entire plant is covered in stiff hairs. The hairs at the stem have a distinctive black base.
Each plant grows one to several slender flowering stems that reach a height of up to 80 cm.