35 Degrees South: Blue and Purple Pollen Parlour.

From Lofty, who says no idea on the plant. Looks a bit like a Liatris to me, but I’m not sure either. Whatever it is, it’s magnificent, as are the gatherers! Click for full size.




© Lofty, all rights reserved.


  1. Lofty says

    My Spouse thinks it’s a type of Euphorbia. Whatever, when the sun hit it this afternoon it really glowed. I wonder how it looks like in UV to the bees?

  2. rq says

    I do believe it is Viper’s Bugloss, aka Echium vulgare. It appears to be with global reach, though this site (scroll down) claims it is introduced from Africa.
    At least, that’s what it looks like to me, it might be a different (sub)species in Australia.

    Either way, its colour has always fascinated me, and these photos do it justice. I’ve never seen such plump flowers, too -- they’re a lot more scraggly here in the north! (But that blue…)

  3. says

    I am long out of the botany business, but I think it is Echium vulgare. Its vibrant colours stand out wherever and whenever it grows around here.

  4. Lofty says

    Vipers Bugloss it is, then. Another good look in the afternoon sun and the flowers are definitely fluorescing like fury. Even my old eyes registered the intense halo like effect of brilliant blue. A Brilliant Bee Beacon.

  5. mostlymarvelous says

    Ah hah! I thought so. Whatever you’ve photographed, it ain’t that. It looks like one of the garden cultivars of ‘Pride of Madeira’ to me. Echium candicans. https://frustratedgardener.com/2015/01/18/daily-flower-candy-echium-candicans/

    Otherwise your council or your neighbours would be nagging at you to get rid of what looks like a declared weed. ‘Salvation Jane’ is echium plantagineum which looks very like a smallish version of the non-selected, non-hybrid species of echium vulgare.

    I’ve got an absolutely gigantic Digger’s Club version -- but it’s pale blue. Spectacular for a good two or three weeks nevertheless.

    (Bit of Australian lingo for those who don’t know. This purple flowered weed is called Paterson’s Curse in the eastern Australian states. However, in South Australia pastoralists and dairy farmers called it Salvation Jane. Despite the fact that it really, really is a pest in pasture and it tainted the milk flavour, it grew and flowered late in winter, early in spring, before the summer pasture grasses came through. So it saved a lot of cattle that would otherwise have nothing to eat for a few weeks. Nowadays, it’s a declared pest everywhere, but there are still stunningly beautiful hillsides in some country areas completely blanketed in a soft purple haze. It usually comes back in crop paddocks that have been given a year’s fallow. I don’t think I’ve seen it in any properly managed pasture.)

  6. mostlymarvelous says

    Hang on. I should have put in the descriptions of echium vulgare and plantagineum.

    Vulgare is described as “biennial or monocarpic perennial plant growing to 30–80 cm (12–31 in) tall, with rough, hairy, oblanceolate leaves”. Plantagineum is “a winter annual plant growing to 20–60 cm tall, with rough, hairy, lanceolate leaves up to 14 cm long. The flowers are purple, 15–20 mm long, with all the stamens protruding, and borne on a branched spike” in wikipedia.

  7. Lofty says

    Thank you mostlymarvelous, for that bit of research. Our candicans has reached the long legged and woody stem stage so I’d better look for any seedlings to manage.

Leave a Reply