Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Echium vulgare
common viper's bugloss

Distribution: Occurring in scattered locations on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to Oregon, east across most of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, ditches, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Introduced from Mediterranean region

Growth Duration: Annual, Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies


Erect biennial from a taproot, the stems 3-8 dm. tall, rough-puberulent and spreading-bristly.


Basal leaves oblanceolate, petiolate, 6-25 cm. long and 0.5-3 cm. wide; cauline leaves progressively smaller, becoming sessile.


Inflorescence an elongate aggregate of numerous, short, coiled false-racemes; calyx deeply cleft; corolla bright blue, 12-20 mm. long, funnel-shaped, the 5 lobes unequal; 4 filaments long-exerted, the fifth much shorter; style exerted, hairy.


Nutlets 4, roughened, attached by the base.

Accepted Name:
Echium vulgare L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 139. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Echium vulgare in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Echium vulgare checklist entry

OregonFlora: Echium vulgare information

E-Flora BC: Echium vulgare atlas page

CalPhotos: Echium vulgare photos

31 photographs:
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