Common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis)

Common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis)
Images courtesy Weed Science Society of America
Common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis)
Common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis)
EDRR Species?: 
Yes

Other common names
Common anchusa, Alkanet, Bee bread, Ox's tongue, Starflower, Common borage, Orchanet, Spanish bugloss, Enchusa, Lingua bovina, Blue bugloss

Description
Perennial herb, flowers May to October. Grows one to two feet tall. Stems and leaves are fleshy; overall plant is coarsely hairy. Basal leaves are narrowly oblong; mid-leaves are progressively smaller up the stem; and the upper leaves are sessile (no petiole) or clasping. Blue to purple flowers with white throats. Petals are five equal lobes, forming an uncurved tube. Flowers are found in coiled clusters at the end of stems. As the flowers open, coils unfold. Fruit is a four-chambered nutlet; each nutlet contains one seed.

Impacts
This plant invades alfalfa fields, pastures, pine forests, rangeland, riparian and waste areas. The fleshy stalks can cause hay bales to mold. Large, very dense stands can occur, offering strong competition to native plant communities.