Viper's-bugloss - Echium vulgare

Alternative names
Viper's Bugloss

This (usually) biennial plant produces a rosette of hairy, strap-like leaves in the first year. In the second year tall, upright stems arise in June, covered with clusters of pink flower buds, which uncurl into dark purplish-blue funnel-shaped flowers. Both the leaves and stems are roughly hairy.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Stamens exserted; corolla zygomorphic (unequal stamens and corolla lobes)

Recording advice

Photograph of whole plant


Found on disturbed dry soils on dunes, shingle, cliffs and open grassland with short turf.

When to see it

June and July.

Life History

Biennial, but occasionally annual or perennial.

UK Status

Widespread but local in Britain.

VC55 Status

Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 6 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Viper's-bugloss, Viper's Bugloss
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
05/06/2011 (Stevens, Ron)
Last record:
10/08/2023 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

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