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.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map