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Pentaglottis sempervirens - (L.)Tausch.

Common Name Evergreen bugloss
Family Boraginaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Damp shady places or by roads and in hedges near the sea[187].
Range W. Europe. Possibly native to S.W. England.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Pentaglottis sempervirens Evergreen bugloss

Pentaglottis sempervirens Evergreen bugloss


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Pentaglottis sempervirens is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Anchusa sempervirens.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers
Edible Uses:

Flowers - raw. They have a mild flavour and mucilaginous texture and are mainly used as an ornament in fruit drinks and salads[8, 183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist humus rich soil in light dappled shade or full shade[200] but also succeeds in full sun. Hardy to at least -10°c[187]. Plants can self-sow to the point of nuisance[187]. The tap-root is brittle and resprouts readily making eradication difficult[187]. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is fleshy. Thick or swollen - fibrous or tap root [2-1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out in late spring. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in spring in situ. Division or root cuttings in spring[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Green alkanet

EUROPE: Spain, France, Portugal

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

Tak Hoshino   Fri May 9 2008

Is this a plant commonly known as Green alkanet?

kay mitchell   Sat Jun 14 2008

This year a plant which looks like pentaglottis sempervirens has spread all over back gardens here in south London. It was not seen in the past. What may have caused this unusually rapid spread of what is basically a pretty, but invasive weed? Thanks...

Ella Booth   Mon Aug 25 2008

Where can I get seeds or plants of Pentaglottis sempervirens? Ella Booth

jenni watson   Tue Mar 17 2009

This plant, which has been quite invasive in our garden, appears to be quite an irritant to my skin. Has it been reported to be toxic if parts of the irritated skin have been in contact with the mouth as I had a very severe bout of sickness after been in contact with this plant?

david   Tue Mar 17 2009

Pfaf has no record of adverse effects, can't find anything elsewhere, a doctor might be a good idea if happens in future.

grg   Tue Mar 24 2009

seems to be common and invasive in london gardens - I dont know about elsewhere. Sometimes has white spots/blotches on leaves??

elle   Sat Mar 28 2009

Like others in London I have seen this growing very prolifically in unused ground and it has self-seeded to a nuisance level in my front garden in paving cracks. I wonder if it's one of those plants like buddleja going through a population explosion. Prettier than dandelions but I only let it grow in my shaded alleyway as it would swamp all my other plants. I have been wondering if it is useful in the same way that its relatives comfrey and borage are for making fertiliser tea - someone should look into this.

zuena   Fri Apr 17 2009

like Elle, I would like to know if pentaglottis sempervirens has fertiliser properties like comfrey. Wd be useful! zuena.

Richard   Wed Apr 29 2009

Apparently no medicinal uses, not pleasant to eat. But full of nitrogen, so great for the compost heap!

Green alkanet

Rachel   Mon May 18 2009

I thought this was borage when I discovered an invasion of it in my garden in N.London, it is an absolute nightmare to get rid of.and seeds itself all over the place. Shame it does not have the medicinal properties of borage. I believe it is from the same family.

Anna   Fri May 22 2009

I wonder if I can eat it, I am eating oyther plants from that family :) Tastes similarly to comfrey and borage when cooked.

Dave Hamilton   Fri Jun 5 2009

This is Green Alkanet, it is of the Boraginaceae (or forget-me-not) family. It has small hairs that can be an irritant (see link Botanical Dermatology Database) You can make plant fertilizers or plant feed 'teas' from many plants, I'd choose Nettle and Comfrey over Green Alkanet but if there is a lot of it then why not use it for something!

The Botanical Dermatology Database

   Jun 18 2013 12:00AM

My border collie loves this plant and takes bites from it whenever we walk past it in our local park in south London. I think there must be some medicinal reason he does this but do not know what it is. Francesca O.

   Apr 10 2016 12:00AM

I was researching this plant as in line with the last comment my border collie seeks out this plant on our walks and eats copious amounts of the youngest leaves on the plant. I too thought this may be because of a medicinal benefit.

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Subject : Pentaglottis sempervirens  
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