Blueweed (Echium vulgare)
Blueweed (Echium vulgare)

Blueweed

Echium vulgare

Description

  • 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.
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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 some parts of the CKISS region.
  • It is currently classified as Eradicate/Annual Control on the CKISS Annual Priority List.
  • There are a few Invasive Plant Management Areas (IPMAs) where this species has not been found, so it is classified as Regional EDRR for those IPMAs.
  • 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 when soil is moist to control small infestations.
  • 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