Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Viper's Bugloss - Echium vulgare

This gorgeous wild flower is at its best right now in the pastures and meadows of Extremadura, it's a vision, lakes of purplish blue among the cork and holm oaks, cows grazing knee deep.
Other names for this wild flower include 'snake flower' and 'blue devil'. It was once used as an anti-venom for bites from the spotted viper.
"Bugloss" is derived from the Greek word bou (meaning cow or ox) and the Latin word glosso (meaning tongue). These refer to its leaves, which could be said to be shaped like an ox-tongue.
Viper's bugloss is loved by insects of all kinds, especially bees, hoverflies and butterflies. The Painted Lady butterfly is particularly fond of it.

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