Anchusa officinalis - L.
Common Bugloss
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Anchusa officinalis L. (TSN 31718)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.160545
Element Code: PDBOR02050
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Borage Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Lamiales Boraginaceae Anchusa
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Anchusa officinalis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (11Oct2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States California (SNA), Colorado (SNR), Connecticut (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (SNA), Maine (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Montana (SNA), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), Utah (SNA), Washington (SNA), Wisconsin (SNA)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CAexotic, CO, CTexotic, IDexotic, ILexotic, MA, MEexotic, MIexotic, MTexotic, NHexotic, NJexotic, NYexotic, OHexotic, ORexotic, PAexotic, RIexotic, UTexotic, WAexotic, WIexotic
Canada BCexotic, ONexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: This perennial herb is most densely established in eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and adjacent Idaho, with scattered (sometimes transient) establishment in several other western states and in most northeastern states. It prefers dry, relatively fertile sandy to gravelly soils in full sun to partial shade, allowing it to invade dry steppe (including relatively intact bluebunch wheatgrass communities), drier bottomlands, and open pine forest communities, as well as more or less disturbed habitats, including fields, pastures, rangelands, and roadsides. Once established, this species can form large, very dense stands, precluding the establishment of native species and greatly reducing native community quality. It is known to threaten at least one federally listed plant species in Oregon with similar habitat preferences, and is spreading in several counties in the Pacific Northwest.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 06Sep2007
Evaluator: Gravuer, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Eurasia (particularly the Mediterranean region), including parts of Turkey, Denmark, southern Sweden, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the western area of the European part of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia, France (including Corsica), and Spain (including Baleares) (USDA ARS 2007).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: This species is a non-native that is established outside of cultivation (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Invades dry steppe (including relatively intact bluebunch wheatgrass communities), drier bottomlands, and open pine forests, as well as more or less disturbed habitats, including fields and field edges (especially alfalfa fields), pastures, rangelands, and roadsides (Fernald 1950, Hitchcock et al. 1959, St. John 1963, Hickman 1993, Voss 1996, Plants for a Future 2001, Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003, Welsh et al. 2003, USDA Forest Service 2004, Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005, Klinkenberg 2006, Scott and Robbins 2006, Wallowa Resources 2006, Oregon Department of Agriculture 2007, Thurston County Noxious Weed Program 2007, B. Meinke pers. comm. 2007, G. Yates pers. comm. 2007).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance
Comments: Reaches high densities on river bars in the Imnaha watershed in Oregon (Sharratt 2006). These infestations may interfere with natural sediment movement in the river system.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: Large, very dense stands can occur (Oregon Department of Agriculture 2007), causing significant density changes.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Moderate significance
Comments: Once established, can preclude the establishment of native species, greatly reducing native community quality (B. Meinke pers. comm. 2007).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Low significance
Comments: Has been documented within 100-125 meters of a population a rare plant, MacFarlane's 4-o'clock (Mirabilis macfarlanei: G2 and Federally listed as Threatened) (G. Yates pers. comm. 2007). Given that habitat preferences of the two species are very similar and that common bugloss is capable of reaching high densities (Oregon Department of Agriculture 2007), it could potentially impact a significant percentage of the global population of MacFarlane's 4-o'clock.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: Invades relatively intact bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata ssp. spicata) communities in Oregon (G. Yates pers. comm. 2007). Has been documented within 100-125 meters of a population a rare plant, MacFarlane's 4-o'clock (Mirabilis macfarlanei: G2 and Federally listed as Threatened) (G. Yates pers. comm. 2007). Numerous land management agencies in Oregon, including the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the US Forest Service, and the Nature Conservancy, are concerned about the species- and community-level impacts of this plant (Sharratt 2006).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Well-established in the Pacific Northwest, with scattered establishment in several other western states and in most northeastern states (Kartesz 1999, Fernald 1950). Appears to be most densely established in eastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, and northwestern Idaho (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003, Oregon Department of Agriculture 2007). The generalized range covers approximately 20% of US land area, although in many of the states where this species has been recorded, at least some sources consider it a waif (e.g. California: Hickman 1993, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Stevens Point no date).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Considerable impacts on biodiversity have been documented in northeastern Oregon (B. Meinke pers. comm. 2007, G. Yates pers. comm. 2007, T. Butler pers. comm. 2007) and likely occur in adjacent areas of at least Idaho and eastern Washington as well. Also possible impacts in Utah, where the species has been collected from semi-natural habitats such as river bottoms. Declared a class B noxious weed and a quarantine species in Oregon and Washington (USDA NRCS 2007), where other impacts include a reduction in the carrying capacity of pastures and rangelands (Scott and Robbins 2006) and the destruction of bales of alfalfa hay, which mold when infested with the fleshy stems and leaves of this species (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Moderate significance
Comments: Approximately 17 ecoregions are invaded, based on visual comparison of the generalized range and ecoregions map (The Nature Conservancy 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Prefers well-drained, sandy to gravelly soils (often glacial outwash) that are dry but relatively fertile, in full sun to partial shade (Plants for a Future 2001, Whitinger 2007). Invades dry steppe (including relatively intact bluebunch wheatgrass communities), drier bottomlands, and open pine forests, as well as more or less disturbed habitats, including fields and field edges (especially alfalfa fields), pastures, rangelands, and roadsides (Fernald 1950, Hitchcock et al. 1959, St. John 1963, Hickman 1993, Voss 1996, Plants for a Future 2001, Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003, Welsh et al. 2003, USDA Forest Service 2004, Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005, Klinkenberg 2006, Scott and Robbins 2006, Wallowa Resources 2006, Oregon Department of Agriculture 2007, Thurston County Noxious Weed Program 2007, B. Meinke pers. comm. 2007, G. Yates pers. comm. 2007).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Spreading in several counties in the Pacific Northwest, including Wallowa Co., OR and Spokane Co., WA (Wallowa Resources 2006, Sharrett 2006). At one site in Washington, the species was documented to be spreading at a rate of nearly 70 square km per year between 1980 and 1987 (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). Therefore, some spread is likely occurring from the areas where the species is most densely established, but probably not in all directions.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: One source documented this species to be hardy to USDA zone 5 and not frost tender (Plants for a Future 2001). Many sources noted its preference for well-drained sandy to gravelly soils (often glacial outwash), however, suggesting that the potential range of this species may be limited more by soil type than by climate. Many areas with such soils in the US appear to be as yet uninvaded by this species, suggesting that it could expand its range.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Apparently cultivated to a limited extent as an ornamental (St. John 1963); available for sale on the Internet (Whitinger 2007). River flooding events can both move seed and open up habitat, creating ideal conditions for establishment (Sharratt 2006). Seeds can also occasionally be spread by wind, vehicles, animals, and contaminated hay (Wallowa Resources 2006).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Moderate significance
Comments: Spreading in several counties in the Pacific Northwest, including Wallowa Co., OR and Spokane Co., WA (Wallowa Resources 2006, Sharrett 2006). At one site in Washington, the species was documented to be spreading at a rate of nearly 70 square km per year between 1980 and 1987 (Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board 2003). Therefore, at the county scale, it appears to be increasing in a substantial percentage of the counties it has already invaded.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:High/Moderate significance
Comments: In the Imnaha River valley, OR, infestations are densest on the valley bottoms, where agriculture and grazing have been most intense, but are now expanding upslope into relatively intact bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata ssp. spicata) communities (G. Yates pers. comm. 2007). Also establishes on river bars (Sharratt 2006). Scott and Robbins (2006) note that "maintaining a strong population of native perennials is the best way to prevent the establishment of common bugloss", suggesting that disturbance does promote establishment of this species.

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Established in British Columbia and Ontario in similar habitats (Klinkenberg 2006). Also noted as a waif in Ireland and Britain, in similar habitats as well (Plants for a Future 2001, Randall 2002).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Perennial herb with a long taproot; new shoots can develop from root stock fragments (Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005). Reproduces by seed, with a single plant producing an average of 900 seeds annually (Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005). Seeds can remain viable in the soil for several years (Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Plants can be pulled or dug out, but regrowth will occur if sufficient taproot is not removed; this strategy is most efficient when plants are young (Scott and Robbins 2006, Wallowa Resources 2006, Thurston County Noxious Weed Program 2007). Otherwise, a number of herbicides have been found to be effective when applied at the bud stage of growth with at least 0.5% surfactant added (Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005, Wallowa Resources 2006, Oregon Department of Agriculture 2007). Regardless of which strategy is chosen, however, the Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board (2005) notes that "it will take a continuous effort to achieve control... regrowth may occur within the same growing season and follow up is key." On river floodplains, fluctuating water levels can present a challenge for control efforts (Sharratt 2006).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Seeds have been described to remain viable in the soil "for several years" (Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board 2005) and "for a long period of time" (Wallowa Resources 2006).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Herbicide seems to be the most viable option when populations are well-established. Spraying of this broad-leaved species has the potential to reduce at least some co-occurring native species populations.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance
Comments: On river floodplains, fluctuating water levels can present a challenge for control efforts (Sharratt 2006). This species has been documented to infest habitats that are privately owned (e.g. alfalfa fields), but since it is recognized as an economic problem in such habitats, it is unlikely that landowners would resist control efforts.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Food. no date. Weed Alert: Common bugloss. Online. Available: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/bugloss.pdf (Accessed 2007)

  • Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. Corrected printing (1970). D. Van Nostrand Company, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Hickman, J. C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1400 pp.

  • Hitchcock, C.L., A. Cronquist, M. Ownbey, and J.W. Thompson. 1959. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 4: Ericaceae through Campanulaceae, by C.L. Hitchcock, A. Cronquist, and M. Ownbey. Univ. Washington Press, Seattle. 510 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Klinkenberg, B. (ed.). 2006. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Online. Available: http://www.eflora.bc.ca (Accessed: 2007).

  • Macdonald, I.D. 1992. Vascular Plants of the Lynde Shores Conservation Area. Pp. 101-109, in, M. Bain and B. Henshaw (eds.) 1992. Annual Bird Report Durham Region Ontario, 1991. 109 pp.

  • Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Plant Division. 2007. Profiles: Noxious Weeds: Common bugloss(Anchusa officinalis). Online. Available: http://egov.oregon.gov/ODA/PLANT/WEEDS/profile_commonbugloss.shtml (Accessed 2007).

  • Oregon Department of Agriculture. 2007. News and events: Noxious weeds a problem in all regions of Oregon - Invasive plants highlighted during Weed Awareness Week. 16 May 2007. Online. Available: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/news/070516weeds.shtml (Accessed 2007)

  • Plants for a Future. 2001, February 2002 last update. Plants for a future database. Available: http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/D_search.html (Accessed 2006).

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978-1979. The flora of Canada: Parts 1-4. National Museums Canada, Ottawa. 1711 pp.

  • Scott, L. and K. Robbins. 2006. Post-fire Invasive Plant Management Plan for the City of Kelowna. Consultant report prepared for the City of Kelowna, BC by Eco-Matters Consulting, Summerland, BC, Canada. 43 pages.

  • Sharratt, D. 2006. Report on 2006 common bugloss control project. Oregon Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Control Program, Corvallis, OR.

  • Spokane County Noxious Weed Control Board. 2005. Common bugloss [Fact Sheet]. Online. Available: http://www.spokanecounty.org/weedboard/pdf/2005CommonBugloss.pdf (Accessed 2007)

  • St. John, H. 1963. Flora of southeastern Washington and of adjacent Idaho. Outdoor Pictures, Escondido, CA. 583 pp.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Thurston County Noxious Weed Program. 2007. Noxious weed fact sheet: Invasive borages. Online. Available: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/tcweeds/weeds/fact-sheets/Invasive_borages.pdf (Accessed 2007).

  • U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Northwest Region. 2004. Pacific Northwest Region Invasive Plant Program: Preventing and Managing Invasive Plants Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Portland, OR.

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2007 last update. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, MD. Online. Available: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl (Accessed 2007).

  • USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, PLANTS Database [USDA PLANTS]. http://plants.usda.gov/. Accessed 2007.

  • University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium. No date. Plants of Wisconsin. Available: http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/index.html. (Accessed 2007).

  • Voss, E.G. 1996. Michigan Flora. Part III. Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Cranbrook Institute of Science Bulletin 61 and Univ. Michigan Herbarium. Ann Arbor, Michigan. 622 pp.

  • Wallowa Resources. 2006. Wallowa County weed watch: Common bugloss [Fact sheet]. Online. Available: http://wallowaresources.org/CommonBuglosspamphlet2.pdf (Accessed 2007)

  • Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. 2003. Written findings of the State Noxious Weed Control Board. Online. Available: http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_info/contents.html. (Accessed 2007).

  • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich and L.C. Higgins. (Eds.) 2003. A Utah Flora. 3rd edition. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.A. 912 pp.

  • Whitinger, D. 2007. Dave's Garden: PlantFiles. Online. Available: http://davesgarden.com/pf/ (Accessed 2007)

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