Echium vulgare | Vipers Bugloss
Vipers Bugloss Echium is a biennial, or sometimes a short-lived perennial. During the first year of growth it consists of a low rosette of basal leaves spanning up to 1.5′ across, but during the second year, one or more erect stems are produced that grow to 2-3′ tall. Each central stem is pale grayish green, and densely covered with stiff, bristly hairs that have purplish bases, given the appearance of polka-dots. The taproot can extend up to 2½’ in the ground.
Plant prefers full sun and fast draining, sandy or rocky soil. Habitats include gravelly or sandy areas along railroads, and roadsides, old abandoned fields, pastures, and waste areas. Open barren areas with a history of disturbance are preferred.
Sow seed in the spring, by barely covering with sand or soil. Or seeds may be direct sown in the garden and allowing nature to take its course. The blooming period starts in summer and lasts 2-3 months. Afterwards, each flower is replaced by up to 4 seeds (usually less). Vipers Bugloss is incredibly efficient at reproducing, even in less than ideal soil conditions. Will self sow reliably.
Vipers Bugloss is nice to look at, but not to touch because the leaves and stalks are armed with sharp hairs like other Echium species.
This is one of the most important bee plants in existence due to its large pollen and nectar supply. Since the inflorescence protects the flowers and prolongs availability of nectar, the nectary is not likely to be dried out by the sun, thus prolonging the availability of nectar to the bees. The nectar and pollen attract honeybees, bumblebees, mason bees, and Halictid bees. In addition to these visitors, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird and butterflies occasionally visit the flowers for nectar.
Type: Biennial, short-lived perennial
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 2-3 ft
Mature width- 12-18 inches
Hardiness zones: 3-11
*Please note: We cannot ship Echium vulgare Vipers Bugloss seeds to Idaho, Montana, Utah, or Washington at this time. Checkout is disabled for this product in these states.