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Viper's Bugloss (Echium Vulgare)

Mike Raine (June)



On a recent visit to Llanddwyn Island on Anglesey with a mountain environment course we were impressed to find the car park full of this grand flower.
As a sea side and dry soil native we had not come across it in the mountains so it provided us with our first identification challenge.
The name Bugloss, which is of Greek origin, signifies an Ox's Tongue, and was applied to it from the roughness and shape of the leaves. The flowers, on their first opening are bright rose-coloured and subsequently turn to the brilliant blue we see in our photograph. They are in bloom throughout June and July, and are much visited by bees.

Viper's Bugloss was said of old to be an expellent of poisons and venom, and to cure the bites of a viper, hence its name. Whilst other writings tell us that if the root is taken it is good against the passions and tremblings of the heart and as also against swoonings, sadness and melancholy!






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