Common name: Paterson's Curse
Echium plantagineum L. APNI*
Synonyms: Echium lycopsis L. APNI*
Description: Annual or rarely biennial herbs to 120 cm high with one or more erect stems from the base; hairs dense, fine, spreading.
Leaves oblanceolate to obovate in the rosette, to 30 cm long and 8 cm wide, becoming shorter above, base cordate, lamina densely hairy.
Inflorescence conical, of many spreading cymes. Sepals linear-lanceolate, 8–11 mm long, becoming longer in fruit. Corolla zygomorphic, 20–30 mm long, purplish blue to purple, rarely pinkish or white; lobes shorter than the tube. Mericarps black to greyish brown, wrinkled.
Flowering: spring to early summer.
Distribution and occurrence: widely naturalised in disturbed places and pastoral land. Native of Europe.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP, *SFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A. *N.T.
This species is regarded as a weed in cultivated and pastoral land, but in drier regions it is considered to be a useful stock feed. It is used by beekeepers as a source of nectar and pollen, and in S.A. it is commonly called Salvation Jane.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
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