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Anchusa (Bugloss)

More Information About Anchusa

Anchusa is a genus (roughly 40 species) of perennials from Africa, Europe, and Western Asia related to Forget-me-nots (Myosotis) that are loved for their intense blue flowers. Their common name, Bugloss is derived from the latin for 'Ox tongue', which is a reference to Anchusa's rough, hairy leaves.

Anchusa flowers generally open in late spring to early summer and deadheading will lengthen the flowering season. They are drought tolerant plants that prefer a full sun location in the garden. While Anchusa loves rich soils, the plants tend to flop over in them, so lean soils are best. Overly wet soils will cause Anchusa to rot, so make sure that your garden soil is ammended to be well drained. Anchusa leaves may look haggard after flowering and in late fall but cutting the plants back hard will rejuvenate them.

While Anchusa makes a wonderful blue-flowered garden perennial for most, in some places (NW US, NE US) certain species can be invasive, so check your local conditions before planting bugloss. In the SE US, Anchusa does not like the humidity so you do not often see it south of NC.

Try pairing the intensely blue-flowered Anchusa with white flowers like Leuchanthemum or yellow flowers like Rudbeckia. Trivia - In some places (i.e., Crete), the locals treat Anchusa as a culinary plant and boil, steam or fry the tender new stems or use the flowers as a salad garnish.