Photo courtesy of BC Ministry of Forest

Blueweed (Echium vulgare L.)

Blue weedBiennial forb with numerous blue tube flowers on upperside of a short stem. Stems grow 30-80cm tall covered in short hairs. Leaves are also covered in hairs and are narrow (6-25cm long) and go up the entire length of the stem. It has long taproots with smaller fibrous lateral roots. The seeds are described as nutlets in clusters of 4 about 3mm long.

Habitat and Ecology

Blueweed grows in disturbed habitats like dry roadsides, rocky pastures and rangelands. It occurs and low to mid elevations in BC and is well – adapted to dry, rocky, shallow soil especially over limestone.

Impacts

Blueweed can invade rangelands and pastures. Seeds can contaminate clover, crop seeds and act as a host for viral diseases. Infestations tend to increase in overgrazed pastures because it is generally unpalatable to livestock. The main mode of reproduction is by seed which can remain viable in the soil for several years.

Management

Repeated cutting, digging and pulling small infestations can manage infestations. Chemical application has proven successful in spring or early fall (refer to A Guide to Weeds in British Columbia for more information).

References

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/weedguid/blueweed.htm

Province of British Columbia. 2002. A Guide to Weeds in British Columbia.

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/fieldcrop/index.htm