Cerinthe echioides L.
Onosma angustifolia Lehm.
Onosma canescens C.Presl
Onosma dalmatica Scheele
Onosma fastigiata pyrenaica (Braun-Blanq.) Valdés
Onosma echinidea St.-Lag.
Onosma javorkae Simonk.
Onosma pallida Salisb.
Onosma pyrenaica Timb.-Lagr. ex Nyman
Onosma echioides is a herbaceous perennial plant producing a clump of erect, sometimes slightly-branched stems; it can grow up to 30cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
The bristly stems and leaves can cause a good deal of irritation to the skin[
Southern Europe - Spain, Italy, the Balkans, Bulgaria to european Turkey
Limestone slopes and rocks; at elevations up to 1,600 metres[
]. Crevices in rocks and cliffs[
Onosma echioides is fairly cold hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -15°c[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a deep rather rich sandy loam[
]. Tolerates hot dry conditions and also drought once it is established, but dislikes moist climates at any time of the year[
]. Species in this genus tend to grow well in crevices in a rock garden or on a wall[
There is some confusion over this species. It is given as a part of Onosma frutescens in some reports but [
] gives it specific status.
A very ornamental plant[
Species in the genus Onosma L. generally have been shown to contain several medically-active compounds including alkannin and shikonin, flavonoids, ferulic and vanillic acids. A study has shown that these phytochemicals have significant anti-inflammatory and anti-pain activity and that they are also ikely to be responsible for the wound healing and antibacterial actions[
The following reports for Onosma echioides refer to a plant growing in the eastern Himalayas, Onosma echioides is restricted to southern Europe and is not native to the Himalayas. The reports almost certainly refer to Onosma hispida[
The leaves are alterative[
]. They are made into a powder and given to children as a purgative[
The flowers are used as a cordial and stimulant in the treatment of rheumatism and palpitations of the heart[
The root is bruised and used as an external application to skin eruptions[
A red dye is obtained from the root. It is an alkanna substitute[
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in early spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in early summer.
Cuttings in a frame in the summer. Shade them for the first 10 - 12 days[