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Annual Bugloss

Anchusa arvensis • Class B

Family Name: Boraginaceae (Bor-AJ-in-nee-see-ee)
Common: Forget-me-not family
Genus: Anchusa (an-KOO-suh
Meaning: Plant used for cosmetic; as a rouge perhaps
Species: arvensis  (ar-VEN-sis)
Meaning: Of farmed or cultivated land
Description: Annual Bugloss is a small leafy herb that grows to about 6 to 24 inches high. Alternating lance-shaped leaves grow along its branching stem. The leaves grow 1 to 2 inches long and are covered in bristly hairs and crinkled on the edges. The flowers are curved like a tube and sky blue, with 5 unequal lobes flaring from a white center. Each flower produces four nutlets, each containing a seed.

 Why Is it a Noxious Plant?

Annual Bugloss is a serious pest in croplands, pastures, and fields, competing with native plants and crops. Because its seeds can remain dormant for many years, it has become a persistent weed problem.

Annual Bugloss is in the borage family, of which many species contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are toxic to livestock and humans.


Where Does it Grow? Preferred habitat is roadsides, disturbed habitats, pasture and cultivated fields.

Control Options:
  • The most effective control is prevention. Above all else, prevent plants from going to seed.
  • Small plants are easily pulled or dug up. Be sure to wear gloves when handling plants, as the bristly hairs can be painful and may cause skin irritation.
  • Chemical control can be difficult because of the hairs on the leaves. Spot spraying with an herbicide containing the active ingredient glyphosate (e.g.: Roundup Pro®, Glyfos®, etc.) or 2, 4 D plus dicamba (e.g.: Weedmaster®, etc.) is effective in controlling Annual Bugloss. Glyphosate is non-selective and will injure any plants that it comes in contact with, including grass.
  • For the most effective treatment, spot applications should be applied at bud stage, prior to blooming. Annual Bugloss blooms from June until a hard frost. Spray each plant thoroughly on the stems and leaves, enough to be wet but not dripping. Be sure to read and follow all herbicide label directions and restrictions.
  • When using herbicides, read and follow all label instructions and obey all label precautions. (Note: pesticide product registration is renewed annually and product names and formulations may vary from year to year.)

More Information:

 Download our Flyer or visit Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board Here


More Pictures:
piece county noxious weeds bugloss pierce county noxios weeds bugloss  


Washington State Weeds