Annual Bugloss

Anchusa arvensis

Annual Bugloss

Family: Boraginaceae

Other Common Names: small bugloss
Weed class: B
Year Listed: 1991
Native to: Europe
Is this Weed Toxic?:

not known to be

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

It can be a serious pest in cropland, particularly small grains. High weed densities can reduce yields in lentils and peas.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Annual bugloss is a leafy, annual herb that is covered in coarse hairs that have swollen bases. Plants typically reach 1 foot in height but can grow taller.

Flower Description

The flowers are arranged in spiral, often branching clusters at the tips of stems that straighten as they mature. Flowers are funnel-formed, have 5 sky-blue petals that fuse to form a bent tube.

Leaf description

The leaves are alternate, slender, lance-shaped and have wavy margins. Leaves are covered in coarse hairs that have swollen bases. They reduce in size going up the stem.

Stem description

Stems typically reach 1 foot tall but may grow up to almost 3 feet tall.

Fruit Seed Description

Each flower produces four nutlets, with each nutlet containing one seed.

Where does it grow?

Annual bugloss is found along roadsides, disturbed habitats, pastures and cultivated fields. Please click here to see a county level distribution map of annual bugloss in Washington.

How Does it Reproduce?

Annual bugloss reproduces by seed. About 250 seeds are produced per plant. 90% of seeds buried 6 deep are viable after three years and 2% remain viable after five years.

How Do I Control It?

General Control Strategy

Annual bugloss should be prevented from producing seed. Small infestations are easily pulled or dug.

Mechanical Control

Small infestations of annual bugloss are easily pulled or dug up.

Herbicide Control

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

See our Written Findings for more information about annual bugloss (Anchusa arvensis).

Pierce County NWCB Fact Sheet on annual bugloss

Stevens County NWCB Fact Sheet on annual bugloss

Thurston County NWCB Fact Sheet on annual bugloss

Additional Photos