Echium plantagineum

Echium plantagineum L. (syn.: E. maritimum Willd.) – A rare and always ephemeral alien. First recorded on waste land in Liège in 1906. Furthermore collected in Vierset-Barse in 1937 (see Lambinon 1995 for an overview of early records). In 1999 and 2000 observed near a grain mill in Willebroek and in abundance in a worked-up (newly sown?) road verge of N49 motorway in Balgerhoeke (Eeklo) in 2001. In the past years (2011, 2013 and 2014) also seen near grain storages in the Antwerp and Ghent port areas and in Grobbendonk.

Recent records of Echium plantagineum are apparently associated with at least two different vectors of introduction in Belgium (as grain aliens and as escapes from cultivation).

Echium plantagineum is an undesirable weed in many warm-temperate areas in the world, for instance in parts of Australia and southern Africa (see references).

Echium plantagineum, Antwerp, port area (Kanaaldok), rough ground, August 2011, R. Barendse Echium plantagineum, Grobbendonk, canal bank, July 2013, R. Barendse
Echium plantagineum, Grobbendonk, canal bank, July 2013, R. Barendse Echium plantagineum, Grobbendonk, canal bank, July 2013, R. Barendse

Selected literature:

Antoine S. & Dardaine P. (2015) Note sur Echium plantagineum L., un xénophyte en voie de naturalisation en Lorraine. Les nouvelles archives de la Flore jurasienne et du nord-est de la France 13: 105-106.

Burdon J.J. (1983) Demographic and genetic changes in populations of Echium plantagineum. J. Ecol. 71: 667-669.

Burdon J.J., Jarosz A.M. & Brown A.H.D. (1988) Temporal patterns of reproduction and outcrossing in weedy populations of Echium plantagineum. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 34: 81-92.

Butterfield L. (1999) Boscregan: last refuge of the purple viper's-bugloss? Brit. Wildlife 10(3): 166-171.

Corbet S.A. & Delfosse E.S. (1984) Honeybees and the nectar of Echium plantagineum L. in south-eastern Australia. Austral. J. Ecol. 9(2): 125-139.

Cuddy M. (1988) Purple viper's-bugloss (Echium plantagineum) at St Just. Botanical Cornwall Newsl. 2: 5-6.

Kruijer J.D. & Moeliono B.M. (1989) A competition for pollinators: differences in attractiveness between Echium vulgare L. and Echium plantagineum L. Acta Bot. Neerl. 38: 100-101.

Lambinon J. (1995) Notes taxonomiques, nomenclaturales et chorologiques relatives à la quatrième édition de la « Nouvelle Flore » de la Belgique et des régions voisines. 3. Données nouvelles sur des plantes adventices ou subspontanées en Belgique. Dumortiera 60: 1-36.

Perry G. & McNeill J. (1987) (878) Proposal to reject the name Echium lycopsis L. (Boraginaceae) with notes on the correct name for the weed Paterson's Curse (Purple Viper's Bugloss). Taxon 36(2): 483-492.

Piggin C.M. (1982) The biology of Australian weeds, 8. Echium plantagineum L. J. Austral. Inst. Agric. Sci. 48: 3-16.

Retief E. & Van Wyk A.E. (1998) The genus Echium (Boraginaceae) in southern Africa. Bothalia 28(2): 167-177.

Scott J.K. & Kenneally K.F. (1981) The distribution of Boraginaceae in Western Australia in relation to the biological control of Echium plantagineum L. West. Austral. Herb. Res. Notes 5: 81-109.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith