Echium vulgare

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaBoraginaceaeEchiumEchium vulgare


A biennial of grassy and disturbed habitats on well-drained soils. It is found in bare places on chalk and limestone downs, on heaths, in quarries and chalk-pits, in cultivated and waste land, along railways and roadsides, and by the coast on cliffs, sand dunes and shingle. Generally lowland, but formerly reaching 365 m as an alien at Braemar (S. Aberdeen).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Temperate element; widely naturalised outside its native range.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Calcareous grassland (includes lowland and montane types)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 1

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.6

Annual Precipitation (mm): 822

Life form information

Height (cm): 90

Perennation - primary

Biennial, including monocarpic perennials

Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1066

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 41

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 9

Atlas Change Index: -0.24

Weighted Changed Factor: 15

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (216d)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.