Anchusa angustifolia DC.
Anchusa angustifolia L.
Anchusa arvalis Rchb.
Anchusa baumgartenii Nyman
Anchusa davidovii Stoj.
Anchusa incarnata Schrad. ex Steud.
Anchusa leptophylla W.D.J.Koch
Anchusa lycopsidis Besser ex Link
Anchusa macedonica Velen.
Anchusa macrocalyx Hausskn.
Anchusa maculata Hornem. ex Steud.
Anchusa microcalyx Vis.
Anchusa moesiaca Velen.
Anchusa ochroleuca Baumg.
Anchusa osmanica Velen.
Anchusa pustulata Schur
Anchusa spicata Lam.
Anchusa tinctoria Woodv.
Anchusa undulata intacta Griseb.
Anchusa velenovskyi (Gușul.) Stoj.
Buglossum angustifolium Moench
Buglossum aspermum Gilib.
Buglossum officinale Lam.
Common Name: Alkanet
Anchusa officinalis is an erect biennial, or more commonly perennial, plant that cam grow 40 - 100cm tall[
]. The stem usually forms branches towards the top[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for food, medicina and a dye. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens.
Grown in gardens, the plant has escaped from cultivation and has become naturalized in many areas, especially in northern America, where it is considered to be invasive.
Europe - Denmark and Sweden, south to Spain; east to Ukraine and Greece and into Turkey.
Roadsides, pastures and waste ground, preferring warmer areas[
]. Weedy places, kitchen gardens near roadsides, field edges, exposed cliffs in forests and steppe zones[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a sunny position[
]. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil[
The flowers are a rich source of nectar and are very attractive to bees[
The dry leaves emit a rich musky fragrance, rather like wild strawberry leaves drying.
Leaves and young shoots - cooked[
]. Used like spinach[
Flowers - cooked or used as a garnish[
The red dye obtained from the roots can be used to colour oils and fats[
All parts of the plant are demulcent and expectorant[
]. They are used externally to treat cuts, bruises and phlebitis and internally to treat coughs and bronchial catarrh[
A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[
]. It is used in the treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers[
A red dye is obtained from the roots[
Seed - sow spring in pots of sandy soil[
]. An overnight drop in temperature helps germination[
]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 4 weeks at 21°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seed bed during July, transplanting the plants to their final positions during early autumn[
]. These plants will grow larger and flower earlier than those sown in spring.