Anchusa L.


Greek anchousa — skin paint, as some species were once used for this purpose.

Roughly hairy, erect, annual, biennial or perennial herbs. Leaves simple, alternate, both basal and on the stem. Flower clusters with bracts. Flowers blue, violet, white or occasionally yellow, with scales in the throat that are sometimes hairy or bearing papillae. Fruit of 4 rough nutlets with an annular rim.

Occasionally grown as border plants or in pots.

A. arvensis (L.) Bieb., Wild Bugloss, is a weed of disturbed sites in SA, NSW, Vic and Tas and is characterised by the irregularly curved flower tube and unequal petal lobes. A. capensis Thunb. Cape Forget-me-not, from the Cape of South Africa has narrow leaves and flowers with the calyx lobes shorter than the flower tube. A. officinalis L., Bugloss, from Europe and W Asia has deeply cut calyx lobes about as long as the flower tube.

Seed or division.

Leaves with inconspicuous veins; flower throat scales broad and blunt, sometimes hairy; nutlets not stalked.

About 35 species from Europe, N and S Africa and W Asia.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Boraginaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      [Boraginales]
family       Boraginaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Anchusa azurea Mill.