037 Echium vulgare L.
Nome comune: Viperina azzurra
Echium vulgare (Viper's Bugloss or Blueweed) is a species of Echium native to most of Europe, and western and central Asia. It is also common in North America.
It is a biennial or monocarpic perennial plant growing to 30–80 cm (12–31 in) tall, with rough, hairy, lanceolate leaves. The flowers start pink and turn vivid blue and are 15–20 mm (0.59–0.79 in) in a branched spike, with all the stamens protruding. Stamens remain red and stand out against the blue flowers. It flowers between May and September. It is found in dry, bare and waste places.
It has been introduced to North America and is naturalised in parts of the continent, being listed as an invasive species in Washington.
Echium is grown as an oilseed crop because of the fatty acid composition of the seed oil. Like borage and evening primrose oil, it contains significant amounts of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), but it also contains the rarer stearidonic acid (SdA).