Anchusa officinalis

Anchusa officinalis L. (C and E Eur., SW As.) – A rather rare and often ephemeral alien. Known since at least 1803 (without further details; Durand 1899). The presence of Anchusa officinalis on the Belgian coast (mainly west of Nieuwpoort) is very well-documented in Belgian herbaria. It was first recorded in the dunes in De Panne around 1862. By 1877 it had already reached Nieuwpoort. At present Anchusa officinalis is still very well-established in this area (see Van Landuyt & Verloove 2006). Elsewhere in Belgium known from numerous very scattered locations but then usually ephemeral or only persisting for some time. Anchusa officinalis is usually seen in ruderal sea dunes, road verges, off-ramps, railway banks, on dumps, coal mine heaps, gravel pits,… formerly also in alfalfa fields.

Anchusa officinalis has often been confused in Belgian herbaria, especially with A. azurea and A. ochroleuca (see there). The very similar Anchusa procera is possibly overlooked (see there).

Selected literature:

Durand T. (1899) Phanérogames. In: De Wildeman E. & Durand T., Prodrome de la flore belge. A. Castaigne Editeur, Bruxelles: 1112 p.

Rossat H. (1998) A propos d' Anchusa officinalis L. (Boraginacee) dans la région lyonnaise. Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon 67(10): 283-286.

Van Landuyt W. & Verloove F. (2006) Anchusa officinalis. In: Van Landuyt W., Hoste I., Vanhecke L., Van den Bremt P., Vercruysse W. & De Beer D., Atlas van de flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, Nationale Plantentuin van België en Flo.Wer: 138.

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