BUGLOSS

Anchusa arvensis

Borage Family [Boraginaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8blue
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

14th June 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A slightly branched heavily bristled plant which grows up to 18 inches tall, usually as an arable weed.


23rd April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Lanceolate to linear stemless leaves covered in bristles. A few small sky-blue flowers near the tops.


14th June 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves join the stem without stalks. Usually more withered flowers and buds that opened ones.


23rd April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A much clearer view of the buds and flowers, which are usually hidden in a mass of small leaves and dense covering of bristles.


23rd April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flower buds stalked. Sepals are bristly, long and tapered, and number five.


23rd April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
An unusually high number of opened flowers amidst fewer withered spent ones. The petal-tube is curved, paler than the flower which opens at 45° into five stubby and rounded petals.


6th Aug 2009, Rhyl, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
In the centre of the flower is a small white fluffy ball which completely blocks the petal-tube. Some books mention white honey-guides between the five petals, but none are evident in any of these photographs...


23rd April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Petal-tube is curved. Un-opened flowers a deep purple.


31st May 2007, Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
By transmitted light the petals have faint white veins.


14th June 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The bristles are transparent and look similar to the trichomes of Stinging Nettle, but these on Bugloss appear not to inject any poisons into straying flesh.


14th June 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Transparent bristles.


23rd April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are linear to lanceolate. All parts except the petals are covered in transparent bristles.


14th June 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaf surface rough, leaf edge wrinkled. Leaf surface puckered where the bristles emerge.


23rd April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
An unusually large number of basal leaves.


Apart from the dense covering of transparent bristles and several other differences, could be mistaken for : Field Forget-me-not (but that has yellow-centred flowers).

Not to be semantically confused with : Bugle or Bugseed [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Viper's Bugloss is twice as tall, has dark non-transparent bristles, and has many much-larger blue and purple flowers up the stem. Siberian Bugloss is a garden Forget-me-not that may sometimes be found near houses.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Being a member of the Borage Family, Bugloss contains several poisonous pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Amongst them are the pyrrolizidine monoesters such as Lycopsamine, AcetylLycopsamine, Cynoglossine (which has curare-like effects) and Consolidine.

It also contains Allantoin


  Anchusa arvensis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Boraginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Borage family8Boraginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Anchusa
Anchusa
(Alkanets)

BUGLOSS

Anchusa arvensis

Borage Family [Boraginaceae]

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