Apr. 17, 2020
viper's bugloss, Echium vulgare
Viper's bugloss is a European contribution to our fields, roadsides and occasionally in our flower gardens. It's often found in areas with poor soil. Eurasian immigrants often seem to get name changes as they arrive here. Schmidt becomes Smith. Coddlins-and-cream becomes hairy willowherb. But viper's bugloss stays the same? Doubt that it had anything to do with debugging snakes. Actually, bugloss seems to be a mashup of Greek and Latin words for ox tongue. Does that clear things up? Some have begun to call this blueweed. The flowers are a nice bright blue, but begin as pink buds, changing color as they open. I once found one with blue buds and pink flowers, which must have had amazing chemistry and genetics. Viper's bugloss has now been found in all states and provinces except AL, AZ, CA, FL, HI, MS, ND, NV, LB, NT, NU, and YT. It's also on SPM. On a beach in Leelanau Co MI, 9/17/13. Borage family, Boraginaceae.