Boraginaceae or Borage Family
Other Common Names: Common Viper's Bugloss.
Growth Habit: Herbaceous biennial or short lived perennial, grows 1 to 2 feet tall.
Leaves: Alternate, bristly with hairs, pointed at both ends and have a single midvein.
Stems: Grey green and are covered with two types of hairs arising from small black speckles. Stem leaves become smaller up the stem.
Flowers: Start pink and then turn a vivid blue.
Seeds: Nutlet seed that disperses while still attached to the flower. Seeds are viable for at least 3 years.
Reproduction: By seed.
Habitat: Fields, disturbed areas, roadsides.
Handpulling: Pulling blueweed is effective for smaller infestations, especially if the soil is moist. Be sure to remove the entire taproot, otherwise the plant will regenerate from the leftover rootstock. If plants have already begun to flower they should be bagged for disposal to prevent further seed spread on site. Stiff hairs on the stems and leaves can cause irritation, so gloves and long sleeves are recommended.
Mowing: Mowing blueweed will provide you with short-term prevention of seed production, but re-sprouting and flowering will occur below the level of the blades after continued mowing. This method alone is not recommended for long-term management of this species.
Biological Control: N/A
Grazing: Blueweed has been shown to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are toxic to horses and cattle if ingested. While sheep and goats have shown resistance to these alkaloids, grazing is not a recommended control action for this species.
Herbicides: The following herbicides are labelled for control of blueweed. Always consult product labels and read them carefully to ensure correct species/land management usage and chemical application.
|Trade Name:||Active Ingredient:||Rate:||Efficacy:||Comments|
|Escort||metsulfuron||1 oz/acre||most effective if applied on rosettes in spring or fall||Cannot be used near wells, surface water or shallow ground water|
|Telar||chlorsulfuron||1 oz/acre||most effective if applied on rosettes in spring or fall|
|Escort + Telar||metsulfuron +chlorsulfuron|| .5 oz/acre
|most effective if applied on rosettes in spring or fall||Cannot be used near wells, surface water or shallow ground water|