Lot Location: 5A.6
Also known as Viper's Bugloss
Hardy to Zones 3 to 11
Herbaceous perennial, sometimes biennial, native to Europe, the Ural Mountains, and Siberia. Growing in dry and gravelly places, this hairy-stemmed beauty bears large, bright blue, tubular flowers from summer to frost on an upright plant. This is one of the most significant bee plants in existence, due to its large pollen and nectar output, and the fact that the scorpiod inflorescence protects the flowers and prolongs availability of nectar. The nectary is not likely to be dried out by the sun, and the long blossoming cycle means bees can use this plant from mid-spring to frost. Plant is nice to look at, but not to touch-leaves and stalk armed with sharp hairs.
Flowers 2-3 feet tall. Plant prefers full sun and very fast draining, sandy or rocky soil. Transplant to 1 foot apart.
Traditional herbal usage: antiseptic, coloring agent, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, snakebite. Roots contain the bright red pigment shikonin.