Viper's-bugloss

Echium vulgare

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Viper's-bugloss

About

Mainly found on sandy and chalk soils, Viper's-bugloss is a hairy plant with dense spikes of bright blue, funnel-shaped flowers. Found on chalk grassland, sand dunes, cliffs and disturbed ground, it is in bloom from May to September. It provides food for a range of insects including Buff-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees, Large Skipper and Painted Lady Butterflies, Honey Bees and Red Mason Bees.

How to identify

Viper's-bugloss has upright spikes of blue flowers in dense clusters, hairy stems and narrow and pointed leaves.

Where to find it

Scattered distribution in the UK; most common in the south.

Habitats

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and coastal habitats for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. Careful grazing with traditional breeds, hay-cutting at the right time and scrub clearance are just some of the ways these fragile habitats are kept in good condition - supporting wildflowers like Viper's-bugloss and, in turn, invertebrates and the larger animals that prey on them. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Viper's-bugloss
Latin name
Echium vulgare
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 80cm
Conservation status
Common.