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Plant Identification: SOLVED: Is this Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare)?

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Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


June 20, 2001
3:50 AM

Post #6837

That was the only thing that made sense to me. But I know a lot of ya'll have a LOT more expertise in wildflowers (weeds?) than I do. This was also obtained last week from an empty lot in SE Nebraska.

The "hummingbird moths" (moths with hummingbird-like snouts) were going crazy over a field of this plant. It's hard to see from the photo, but the flowers are blue with electric purple stamens. Have hairy (almost prickly) stems, and basal rosette leaves. Leaves are long, smooth (not serrated) and hairy like the stems.

It was in full bloom in early June, and was about 2' tall. Plants have long taproot, and were most frequently found in clumps of 2-3 stems.

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Baa

June 20, 2001
6:33 AM

Post #85018

Yes Echium vulgare or vipers bugloss, a very valuable nectar plant but tends to be biennial so save seeds

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


June 20, 2001
1:07 PM

Post #85056

Baa, that's what I was afraid of when I read the descriptions of it. The plant was at its height of flowering when I removed it, and of course the flowers have wilted from transplanting. Maybe I can talk my mom into collecting some seeds in a few weeks. Do you have any seed-collecting tips/hints I could pass along to her? (This would be a first for her.) Thanks!!!!
Baa

June 20, 2001
7:59 PM

Post #85188

Yes wear gloves! LOL

I'm not really kidding the spines are very sharp. The seeds are large and black and each flower only porduces one seed but because of the profusion of flowers amount shouldn't be a problem. Sow the seeds as soon as you can, the fresher the better and give them a well drained site, they hate wet roots. If you sow them as soon as you get them you should have plants blooming this time next year if you spring sow them you will have to wait another year.

The are a wonderful plant and once used as an antidote to viper's venom (we have vipers here in my part of England)but the efficacy has never been proved.

As the flowers have wilted take off the spikes and you may get them to bloom for a second year, they can be short lived perennials but not in my personal experience.

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