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Common Bugloss

(Anchusa officinalis)

Common Bugloss

(Anchusa officinalis)

Quick ID
  • Typically blue to purple flowers, but may be pink or even sometimes white
  • Fiddleneck flower stems that uncurl as they mature
  • Stems and leaves succulent and fleshy and densely covered in course hairs
  • Plants usually 1'-2' tall

Map Courtesy of Montana Natural Heritage Program, Common Bugloss – Low Suitability: 27% of Montana, Moderate: 4%, Optimal: 1%. Click here for larger image.

Common Bugloss
Common Bugloss Plant

Weed Images

Common Bugloss plant
Common Bugloss flower
Common Bugloss leaf
Common Bugloss stem

Weed Specifications

Weed Info
Type Information
Toxicity Unknown, but it is in the borage family, which contains many species with pyrrolizidine alkaloids toxic to livestock and humans
Best Management Practices

Prevention and diligently prevent plants from going to seed; clean vehicles, shoes, clothing and pets to prevent seed spread; herbicides are most effective at the rosette stage and surfactant is especially important because of the hairy leaves, desirable plant competition; continuous mowing can prevent or decrease seed production but won’t eradicate the plant, plants will regrow and bloom after mowing; forms large, dense stands, but small infestations can be dug, removing as much taproot as possible; wear long sleeves when handling plants, as hairs cause skin irritation; bag and dispose of seeding plants

*See management plan below
Habitat Hayfields, pastures, rangeland, riparian areas, and disturbed areas
Root Deep and woody taproot that produces a purplish red dye
Leaves Hairy, succulent and fleshy, becoming smaller going up the stem
Lifespan Perennial, typically a basal rosette the first year, then sending up flowering stalks the second year and following years
Similar Looking Plants Blueweed
Important Information Primarily spreads by seed, averaging 900 seeds per plant and seeds remaining viable for several years, but shoots can also develop from root stock fragments; fleshy stalks can cause hay bales to mold

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To Report, Contact:



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