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Echium vulgare (Viper's bugloss)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1m
Max height
0.5m
Max spread
1-2 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Echium vulgare

Other names

Viper's bugloss, Viper's herb, North American blueweed, Snake flower, Viper's grass, Blueweed, Bugloss, Cat's tail, Adderwort, Blue devil, Blue thistle

Genus

Echium Echium

Species

E. vulgare - E. vulgare is a biennial that produces spikes of blue bell-shaped flowers in summer.


Echium vulgare is: Deciduous

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Severe discomfort may result if any part of the plant is ingested. Foliage may cause skin irritation.

Flower

Blue in Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Glasshouse whitefly , Slugs Glasshouse whitefly , Slugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Propagation

Sow seed at 13-16C in late summer.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Echium vulgare (Viper's bugloss) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 0.5m after 1-2 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Wildflower

Cultivation

Sow seeds in-situ in spring or under glass. Echiums need to grow in full sun in free-draining soil. They may be left to self-seed after flowering if desired.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Echium vulgare

Other names

Viper's bugloss, Viper's herb, North American blueweed, Snake flower, Viper's grass, Blueweed, Bugloss, Cat's tail, Adderwort, Blue devil, Blue thistle

Genus

Echium Echium

Species

E. vulgare - E. vulgare is a biennial that produces spikes of blue bell-shaped flowers in summer.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Erect

Toxicity

Severe discomfort may result if any part of the plant is ingested. Foliage may cause skin irritation.


Colour

Flower

Blue in Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Glasshouse whitefly , Slugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

General care

Propagation

Sow seed at 13-16C in late summer.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Echium vulgare (Viper's bugloss) will reach a height of 1m and a spread of 0.5m after 1-2 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, Bees (attract & feed bees), Cottage/Informal, Wildflower

Cultivation

Sow seeds in-situ in spring or under glass. Echiums need to grow in full sun in free-draining soil. They may be left to self-seed after flowering if desired.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Deadheading Echium 'Blue Bedder'

Can anyone tell me how to deadhead Echium? Do I take off individual flowers or the whole flowering stem? read more

Viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare)

According to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Viper's bugloss is perhaps the very best plant to attract bumblebees to your garden. Much loved by almost all species, and it looks great too. It… read more

There is 1 active discussion about Echium vulgare (Viper's bugloss)

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GARDENS WITH THIS PLANT

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ARTICLES WITH THIS PLANT

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By award-winning landscape designer James Basson. Taking inspiration from the unique Mediterranean landscape of Malta, the design for the M&G Garden 2017 draws on the ecological diversity and… read more

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