Common Names: Viper's bugloss, blueweed
Sub-category: Borage family
It is a biennial or monocarpic perennial plant growing to 30 to 78 cm tall, with rough, hairy, lanceolate leaves. The flowers start pink and turn vivid blue and are 1.5 to 2 cm in a branched spike, with all the stamens protruding. Stamens remain red and stand out against the blue flowers.
It is found in dry, bare and waste places.
Edible Notes: There are vary reports that the young leaves may be edible, either raw or cooked, however there are conflicting reports that the leaves may be poisonous and the hairs on the leaves and stems may cause dermatitis. Not recommended. Echium is grown as an oilseed crop because of the fatty acid composition of the seed oil. Like borage and evening primrose oil, it contains significant amounts of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), but it also contains the rarer stearidonic acid (SdA).
Warnings: The bristly hairs on the leaves and stems may cause dermatitis. The leaves and stems may be toxic.