Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book
Follow Us:

 

Anchusa officinalis - L.

Common Name Alkanet, Common bugloss
Family Boraginaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Roadsides, pastures and waste ground, preferring warmer areas[9, 13].
Range Europe to W. Asia. An introduced casual in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Anchusa officinalis Alkanet, Common bugloss


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anchusa_officinalis_Sturm8.jpg
Anchusa officinalis Alkanet, Common bugloss
http://www.biolib.de/

 

Translate this page:

Summary

Anchusa officinalis/ Alkanet or Common bugloss is a perennial usually found on roadsides, pastures and waste ground. It has edible leaves and flowers and minor medicinal and other uses.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Anchusa officinalis is a BIENNIAL/PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves
Edible Uses: Colouring

Leaves and young shoots - cooked[9, 115, 166]. Used like spinach[2, 183]. Flowers - cooked or used as a garnish[183]. The red dye obtained from the roots can be used to colour oils and fats[105].

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.
Demulcent  Expectorant  Homeopathy

All parts of the plant are demulcent and expectorant[9]. They are used externally to treat cuts, bruises and phlebitis and internally to treat coughs and bronchial catarrh[9]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[9]. It is used in the treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers[9].

Other Uses

Dye

A red dye is obtained from the roots[13].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils, preferring a sunny position[1]. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil[111]. The flowers are a rich source of nectar and are very attractive to bees[1]. The dry leaves emit a rich musky fragrance, rather like wild strawberry leaves drying.

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in pots of sandy soil[200]. An overnight drop in temperature helps germination[133]. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 4 weeks at 21°c[133]. 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[245]. These plants will grow larger and flower earlier than those sown in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. In the US: Oregon (common bugloss): ”B” designated weed/Quarantine and Washington a Class B noxious weed/Noxious weed seed and plant quarantine.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Anchusa azureaAnchusa, Italian bugloss21

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Marinella Zepigi   Tue Jun 10 2008

Acta plantarum forum botanico Anchusa officinalis L. - Description - Photos

   May 27 2013 12:00AM

Alkanet is also known as Common Bugloss

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Anchusa officinalis  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.