Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky


(Echium vulgare)


(1B, limited presence in Montana)

(Echium vulgare)

Quick ID
  • Dark spots at base of hairs along stem
  • Brightly colored blue funnel-shaped flowers
  • Five bright pink or red stamens, four long and one short
  • Stems and leaves covered in hairs
  • Plants can be over 3’ tall

Map Courtesy of Montana Natural Heritage Program, Blueweed – Low Suitability: 16% of Montana, Moderate: 2%, Optimal: 1%  Click here for larger image.

Woad Plant Img provided by Bamber Burch Beaverhead County
Blueweed Plant

Video Information

Weed Images

Blueweed Plant
Blueweed Rosette
Blueweed Flower
Blueweed Leaf
Blueweed Stem
Blueweed Stamens - Photo by Ansel Oommen,
Blueweed Invading - Photo by Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft.,

Weed Specifications

Weed Info
Type Information
Toxicity Toxic to livestock, contains alkaloids that can cause liver failure, but unpalatable
Best Management Practices Hand pulling, herbicide treatments, not shade tolerant  *See management plan below
Habitat Disturbed, overgrazed areas with course, low-fertility soils
Root Dark taproot with some fibrous lateral roots
Leaves Hairy, linear, lance-shaped leaves, alternate, becoming smaller toward the top of the stem
Lifespan Biennial or sometimes short-lived perennial, only reproduces by seed
Similar Looking Plants Waxleaf penstemon, Phacelia species, common bugloss, houndstongue, none of which have spotted stems
Important Information Flowers can also be purple or pink or rarely white, average 1,800 seeds per plant, also called Viper’s Bugloss, wear gloves and long sleeves when pulling due to the fiberglass-like hairs

Become a Early Detection, Rapid Response Partner

Report the Weed

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To Report, Contact:



Kellieann Morris
Ravalli County Noxious Weed Coordinator
Montana Blueweed Task Force Coordinator
Phone: 406-777-5842