From June to September many local roadsides, dry fields and waste areas grab our attention with a wondrous splash of blue. Upon close examination we are surprised to find that the blue apparition emanated not from a dainty wildflower, but from a bristly plant with purple-spotted stems. The coarse plant may reach two feet in height and form extensive patches or colonies. Although a pest in many farm fields, the beauty of the Blueweed (Echium vulgare) is admired for its pink buds and bright blue flowers. This introduced species from Europe has also become a vagabond alongside railroad tracks.
Copyright © 2004 William T. Hathaway.