©Lizzie Wilberforce


©Katrina Martin/2020VISION


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Enw gwyddonol: Echium vulgare
The upright, blue flower spikes of Viper's-bugloss can be spotted on chalk grassland, sand dunes, cliffs and banks. Its spotted stem is thought to resemble a viper.

Top facts


Height: up to 80cm

Conservation status


Pryd i'w gweld

May to September


Viper's-bugloss is a hairy plant with dense spikes of bright blue, funnel-shaped flowers. It is found on chalk grassland, sand dunes, cliffs and disturbed ground, and is in bloom from May to September. It provides food for a range of insects, including Buff-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees, Large Skipper and Painted Lady butterflies, Honeybees and Red Mason Bees.

What to look for

Viper's-bugloss has upright spikes of vivd blue flowers in dense clusters; hairy, spotted stems; and narrow, pointed leaves.

Where to find

Scattered distribution in the UK, most common in the south.

Roeddech chi yn gwybod?

Viper's-bugloss may have got its common name, 'Viper', from its spotted stem, which is said to resemble a snake's markings, or from the shape of its flowers, which look like the head of a snake. 'Bugloss' comes from the Greek meaning 'ox's tongue' and refers to the rough, tongue-shaped leaves.