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Common Names: Common bugloss, Alkanet, Bugloss
Anchusa officinalis is a biennial/perennial plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft). . The plants bear a basal rosette of lanceolate leaves the first year. In the following years, a large number of erect stems appear. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers have red tinges before turning deep sapphire blue and retain their colour for a long time. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Noted for its deep sapphire-blue flowers that are extremely attractive to wildlife, Anchusa is a relative of borage. The flowers that bloom from late spring right through until first frosts, are rich in nectar and pollen and much loved by almost all bee species. In the garden it can be used as part of wildlife friendly planting scheme or can be added to wildlife or wildflower gardens to bring its own brand of natural diversity.
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a sunny position. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil. The flowers are a rich source of nectar and are very attractive to bees. The dry leaves emit a rich musky fragrance, rather like wild strawberry leaves drying.
Seed – sow spring in pots of sandy soil. An overnight drop in temperature helps germination. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 4 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seed bed during July, transplanting the plants to their final positions during early autumn. These plants will grow larger and flower earlier than those sown in spring.
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Edible Uses: Colouring.
Leaves and young shoots – cooked. Used like spinach. Flowers – cooked or used as a garnish. The red dye obtained from the roots can be used to colour oils and fats.
Demulcent; Expectorant; Homeopathy.
All parts of the plant are demulcent and expectorant. They are used externally to treat cuts, bruises and phlebitis and internally to treat coughs and bronchial catarrh. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Preparations made from roots and/or stems have been used in modern folk medicine primarily as an expectorant (to raise phlegm) or as an emollient (a salve to sooth and soften the skin).
Other Uses:.…..Dye……A red dye is obtained from the roots
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.