Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Invasive Plant


Echium vulgare
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Blueweed is toxic to horses and cattle.

About This Species

Blueweed (Viper’s bugloss) is a hairy, painful to touch plant native to Europe, Western and Central Asia. Plants can drop up to 2800 rough seeds that can be further spread by clinging onto animals or humans. It can be found in dry, basic soils in grasslands, or alongside roads and railways. 

It is toxic to horses and cattle and reduces forage quality in rangelands and pastures, resulting in economic losses. Blueweed is designated as a Regional Noxious Weed by the BC Weed Control Act, as well as a Regional Containment/Control species by the BC Provincial Priority Invasive Species List. 

How to Identify

Blueweed grows 30-80 cm tall, has an upright, unbranched form with a hairy, painful to touch stem.  

Flowers are blue, five lobed and funnel-shaped on the upper side of the short stems. 

Leaves are linear and long, forming a basal rosette in its first year. These leaves are present on the lower half of the plant when flower and are also very hairy. 

Take Action

Prevention is the best approach.



Learn about best practices

A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of Blueweed include:


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