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Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare), also known as blue devil, blue thistle or blueweed, is a member of the Boraginaceae or Forget-Me-Not family. The name comes from the use of the plant root in ancient times as a treatment for snake or viper bites.
The wildflower is a rough-hairy, erect, tap rooted biennial. During the first year, the plant consists of a low rosette of basal leaves spanning up to 1½-feet across. During its second year one or more flowering stems are produced which grow between 1- and 3-feet tall. The basal leaves are whorled, shaped like an inverted lance-head, stalked, from 2.5- to 10-inches long. The stem leaves are alternate, reduced upwards, becoming sessile towards the top. The flowers, in small clusters in the upper leaf axils, are showy, funnel form, blue (aging to pink), from 0.5- to 0.8-inches long. The stamens extend well past the corolla lobes. This is a native of Europe and westerns and central Asia that has become widely established throughout much of North America (except the far southeast and southwest). It frequents roadsides, waste places and meadows. Flowering occurs between June and October.
Also seen in this shot is a silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus), one of the most widespread Skippers in the eastern US.