Viper plant

Health benefits of viper (Echium vulgare)

Characteristics of viper’s bugloss

A twig with some flowers

bugloss flowers

More detailed flowers.  © Daniel Martínez Bou

Common noun: Viper ‘ s bugloss.

Scientific noun: Echium vulgare.

Family: Boraginaceae.

Habitat:It grows wildly by the side of the roads and tracks,together with other plants that could be considered “humanized vegetation” (a kind of vegetation strictly related to the presence of organic garbage) in meadows and dry places.

Description of viper bugloss

It is a herb between 40 and 80 cm tall. It can be specially distinguished because of its stems, covered with rough broad hooking bristles. It’ s got long lanceolate leaves. Its flowers are purple at the beginning, but later they become blue or violate. They’ve got a tubular form,which widens at the border.It is very peculiar of this flower the presence of five stamens larger than the corolla (see the image).


  • Medicinal properties

It’s got depurative properties (Infusions: to relieve rheumatic pains. Gargles: for sorethroats), emollient properties (Plasters: for skin irritation)

  • Cookery properties: leaves forming the basal rosette are eatable, provided that you eat them when tender (In Winter or at the beginning of Spring)
  • Magical properties:the peculiar form of its flower groups,which reminds us the form of a coiled snake,(hence the origin of its name “viper” from Latin “vipera”) made people think wrongly that it’ s got the magical property of healing the bite of a viper.

Picking and storing viper bugloss

You have to pick it up before bloom or a bit after it, during the months of April and July.

More information about plants.

This article was endorsed by Vicente Martínez Centelles - Founder of the web and director. Teacher of natural sciences, expert in plants, natural remedies and botanical photography.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

12 May, 2021

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