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Echium vulgare

Viper's bugloss

Reader rating

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Key information

Plant type

Native annual

Flower colour



Flowers, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


photo by BBC Magazines Ltd, copyright GAP Photos (130097)
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Plant details

A biennial plant often found on grassy and disturbed situations. It prefers a well drained chalky soil and is often seen on bare places, on chalk and limestone downs. It is often found by the coast on cliffs, sand dunes and shingle. E.vulgare has declined somewhat in frequency, due to agricultural intensification, reclamation and the development of neglected ground.The number one bee plant.

Family: Boraginaceae

Genus: Echium

Species: vulgare

Plant type: Native annual

Flower colour: Blue

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 50cm

Spread: 40cm

Reader reviews


Bees love this plant, its quite tall so I would recommend supporting it with canes. It flowered for a long time and everyday the bees were all over it.

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