Viper's Bugloss - Echium vulgare (Forget-me-not family - Boraginaceae)

 

Viper's Bugloss - Echium vulgare (Forget-me-not family - Boraginaceae) A group of these plants is a startling sight because the buds are pink, the long stamens projecting from the bluish purple flowers are bright red and the older flowers are reddish purple. The plant is rough with spiny bristles and is a pest to dairy farmers who call them Blue Devils.

 

 

 

The stem and its branches have purple spots. Herb doctors saw in the purple mottling a "signature" against the bite of venomous snakes and a signature in the seeds as well, which resemble the head of a snake; hence the first part of its common name. This also explains its generic name, ehics being Greek for "viper." Thus all parts went into a decoction to cure or prevent snakebite.

Previous Page