Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board
This web site will help you identify & control noxious weed with information and photographs to aid you.

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Blueweed (Viperís bugloss)
Echium vulgare    
Borage Family

Key identifying traits

  • Blue flowers with pink stamens arranged on the upper side of short, scorpion-tail stems; as the stem straightens flowers open a few at a time, stalk to tip
  • Stems and leaves are covered with stiff hairs which are swollen at the base; wear gloves when handling to avoid having the stiff hairs end up in your flesh!
  • Swellings have a reddish or blackish tint giving the stem a flecked appearance
  • Single stalks or multiple branches 1-3'tall

Biology and Ecology

  • Biennial to short-lived, tap rooted perennial
  • Reproduces by seed and can re-grow from crown
  • Flowers June through early fall
  • Seeds are produced in a four-part nutlet and are very hard and long-lived
  • Thrives in sunny sites-does not tolerate shade
  • Native to Europe
  • Invades lawns, ornamental areas, roadsides and range land

Control
Prevention- learn to identify plant; know your property; beware of fill dirt, hay and seed from outside your area

Biological- no known biological controls approved for Blueweed at this time

Cultural- competitive vegetation helps; keep lawns healthy (water/feed) to increase the vigor of turf and reduce open spaces for invasion

Mechanical- mowing can stop seed production in short term, but plants can re-grow and bloom shorter than the cutting blade; digging or pulling when soil conditions are moist is effective-control prior to bloom or, if after, bag or burn plants in a pile as appropriate; seed bank will be present for years

Chemical-
Difficult due to the hairs-best with adjuvant added to help penetrate through hairs; best timing is in early spring when plants are in the rosette stage; the PNW Weed Management Handbook does not list this weed, but recommendations for other biennial/perennial borages might work. SCNWCB staff has had luck with glyphosate, 2,4-D alone if plants are very small or in combination with dicamba and/or metsulfuron if plants are older


Digging mature blueweed

bw2.jpg (35178 bytes)
Rosette


Flowering

bw4.jpg (32044 bytes)
Seed Set


Where found-
common in south eastern Stevens County with only minor outbreaks elsewhere.

MS.doc     PDF

 

weedboard@co.stevens.wa.us
Last Edit: January 08, 2014
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