Echium italicum - Pale Bugloss

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: insertae sedis - Family: Boraginaceae

Pale bugloss

Pale Bugloss is neither showy nor particularly distinctive, but it does have a stately posture and stands out starkly against a bright sky.

Identification

The pyramidal shape of this plant makes it a very distinctive member of the Borage family (Boraginaceae), but its pale flowers are much less striking than those of other bugloss species. This wildlfower is easily identified simply by its shape.

A close-up picture of the flowers of Pale bugloss

The flowers of Echium italicum are much paler than those of many other Bugloss species.

Pale Bugloss can grow up to a metre in height and is common throughout the Mediterranean region.

Habitat

This plant is not at all fussy about its habitat, either, and can be found in rocky and grassy habitats alike, as well as in abandoned farmland, in pastures, on roadsides and on waste ground.

Echium italicum, pale bugloss

Blooming times

This wildflower blooms from April through to the beginning of July, by which time most other Mediterranean wildflowers have died back.

Etymology

The genus name Echium comes from the Greek echis, meaning viper. The specific epithet italicum means Italian. (The common name Bugloss means ox-tongue and comes from the Greek bous, meaning ox, and glossa, meaning tongue - a reference to the roughness of the leaves.)

The plants shown on this page were photographed in Crete at the beginning of April.


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