Blueweed (Echium vulgare)
Blueweed (Echium vulgare)


Echium vulgare


  • Native to Europe
  • Biennial or short-lived perennial
  • Blue, purple, or pink flowers on upper part of stalk
  • Small stiff hairs on stem and leaves, leaves feel rough
  • Stems have dark spots
  • Grows in dry, rocky, and/or shallow soils.
Flowers may be blue, purple or pink.
Stem has stiff hairs and dark spots.
Basal rosette: leaves are covered in hairs and have distinct midline.
Taproot is dark-coloured and thick.
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Consequences of invasion

  • Invades rangelands and pastures, impacting livestock.
  • Contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can be toxic to horses and cattle when ingested.
  • Seeds can contaminate clover and other crop seeds.
  • Host for plant diseases including alfalfa mosaic virus and tobacco mosaic virus.
  • Seeds can remain viable for up to 36 months, depending on conditions.

Status in the CKISS region

  • Blueweed is present in the region with very limited distribution, so eradication is feasible. Please report findings immediately.
  • CKISS is taking steps to monitor and manage blueweed.
  • To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.

Integrated pest management options

  • Pull or dig plants when soil is moist to control small infestations.
  • Use proper pasture and rangeland management practices like minimizing soil disturbance and overgrazing.
  • Chemical control may work on larger infestations.
  • Become PlantWise and learn about Grow Me Instead. Select alternative, non-invasive plants.

Additional resources