Echium plantagineum L.

Paterson's Curse

Mant. Pl. 2: 202 (1771) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Annual or rarely biennial herb, 20–120 cm high, erect; branches 1–several from base, densely covered with coarse spreading hairs. Leaves densely hairy, apex acute or obtuse, margins entire; rosette leaves oblanceolate to obovate, 4–25 cm long, 8–70 mm wide; cauline leaves oblong-lanceolate, bases cordate to auriculate. Inflorescence conical, cymes elongated; bracts shorter or longer than sepals. Sepals linear-lanceolate, 8–11 mm long, acute, elongating to c. 15 mm in fruit, hairy; corolla 20–30 mm long, hairy outside and inside, purplish-blue, rarely pink or white, lobes broad-ovate, 2–6 mm long, much shorter than tube; nectary scales 5, arranged around ovary; stamens inserted near throat, posterior 2 long-exserted from corolla, others more or less included. Mericarps 2–3 mm long, rugose with pointed tubercles, grey-brown. Flowers mainly Jul.–Jan.

*Brid, *CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MonT, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *RobP, *SnM, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Naturalised all States. Native to Europe. A widespread and troublesome weed of pastures and disturbed places. Although declared a noxious weed in Victoria it is often used as fodder in drought-prone areas and is valued by apiarists as a source of nectar and pollen.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Boraginaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-04-02
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
family Boraginaceae
genus Echium
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Echium plantagineum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Echium plantagineum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Monaro Tablelands present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised
Snowy Mountains present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory