Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Invasive Plant

Common bugloss

Anchusa officinalis

About This Species

Common bugloss (Alkanet) is a hairy, fleshy, plant native to Europe, Western and central Asia. It invades disturbed, sunny areas such as roadsides, pastures, and hay fields, which reduces the yield of these crops. It spreads primarily through seed, but root fragments can propagate. Bugloss leaves include alkaloid compounds which are toxic if ingested by humans or livestock. Common bugloss is designated as a Regional Noxious Weed by the BC Weed Control Act. 

How to Identify

The Bugloss plant grows upright and 30-80 cm tall. Immature stems are coiled, like a fern fiddlehead, and gradually straighten out as each flower opens.  

Mature flowers are small and a bright purple blue colour with white centres. Fruits are nut-like and occur in groups of four. 

Leaves are long, pointed, and have a fuzzy texture.  

Take Action

Cutting or mowing plants before they flower is key to prevent seed production. Plants and all plant parts should be bagged, removed from the site, and burned. Monitor disturbed sites, especially on sandy or gravelly areas, for new outbreaks. Please take care to clean equipment, vehicles, and footwear before leaving an infested area.

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