Cariboo Chilcotin Invasive Plant Committee | CCCIPC

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Cows Eat Weeds

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Echium vulgare

Blueweed (Echium vulgare) is a biennial to short-lived perennial, and considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. Blueweed is commonly found on roadsides, drainage ditches, rights-of-way, fence lines, pastures, rangeland, and other disturbed areas. It is a concern in the Cariboo, Central Kootenay, Columbia-Shuswap, East Kootenay, Okanagan-Silmilkameem, and Thompson-Nicola Regional Districts.

Blueweed has bright blue blossoms found on the upper side of short, rough stems, and grow 30-80 centimetres in height at maturity. Hairy stems are painful to the touch, and hairs often have swollen dark bases that form noticeable flecks. Leaves become progressively smaller as they approach the top of the plant.

Blueweed reproduces up to 2800 seeds per plant. Seeds are generally dropped in the immediate vicinity of the parent plant, but can be distributed further by animals as the rough seeds stick to clothing, hair and feathers. Blueweed invades pastures and rangelands; thus, infestations are associated with some economic losses.

A few native and ornamental alternatives to plant instead of blueweed include: Large-leaved Lupine; Blue Hyssop; Woodland Sage; Penstemon; and Larkspur. Read more about these alternatives in the Grow Me Instead booklet for BC.