Blue roadsides

Photos: Arne Ader
Translation: Liis
Veneküla. Vilsandi
 
Viper's bugloss   Harilik ussikeel     Echium vulgare
 
 ..., and also sandy slopes. Plants  that are hairy all over bloom, with blue flowers decorating the greater part of the stems. Viper’s bugloss cannot be confused with any other plant.
 
The viper’s “tongue“ protrudes from the flower – it is the style of the pistil, split at the tip and  the pink stamens are also conspicuous. The immense hairiness of the plant is striking too – in fact everything is harsh and a little prickly. By this the plant tries to indicate its toxicity. For many animals the viper’s bugloss is inedible. It is an excellent nectar provider for insects, and a good honey plant for bees so the plants get properly pollinated, and the seeds ripen in August. The biennial plant only grows a leaf rosette in the first year, in the following year the plant flowers ...
 
Viper's bugloss


 

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