Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Common Bugloss, Alkanet
Anchusa officinalis

Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Anchusa (an-KOO-suh) (Info)
Species: officinalis (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss) (Info)

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12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Dark Blue

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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By kennedyh
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No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral kennedyh On May 29, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

The name Common Bugloss is an interesting one. It sounds like an insecticide, good for losing bugs! In fact the name is made up as bu-gloss, with bu deriving for the Latin for ox and gloss for the Latin for tongue. The name really means ox-tongue. I have heard it suggested that this refers to the roughness of the leaves, but I believe it in fact refers to the curled cluster of flower-buds, expanding from the base, with the basal flowers opening first. This has the appearance of a tongue. It shares this feature with some of the other Boraginaceae, such as Viper's Bugloss, Echium vulgare, which has Viper's added, because the forked stigma protruding fom each flower suggests a snake's forked tongue.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Helena, Montana
Valley, Washington

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