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Viper's Bugloss

Also known as:

General description

Erect biennial or perennial herb < 1.2. m tall. Stems are stiff and covered in bristly hairs. Leaves are hairy, stalkless and initially < 15 cm long, elongated and produced in a basal rosette, with bumpy upper surfaces. Later leaves are borne on the stem and are smaller and alternate. Flowers are pink in bud, becoming blue, tubular and borne in tapering spike-like heads in November – January.

What you need to know

Although viper’s bugloss is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.

Disturbed sites, riparian margins, grassland, pasture, gardens, wasteland, roadsides.

Seeds dispersed by wind, water and animals. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste.

Can form dense infestations, competing with native vegetation. Reduces pasture productivity and can be poisonous to livestock.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

Basic Growsafe certified
Foliar spray seedlings with 1g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMP status

Not a legally declared pest plant
Viper's bugloss - Main species image