|Anywhere the ground is disturbed. We get a good crop of Vipers Bugloss.|
It seems "Bugloss" just means "Plant" or in particular a group of blue plants. "Vipers" refers to it's supposed use as a remedy for snakebite.
Fortunately we don't have any snakes on these islands.
|Huge: Well over a meter in just a month or three.|
Vipers Bugloss has a large taproot which goes down very deep allowing it to grow in dry infertile places. Originally introduced for cattle feed and for garden decoration. While very edible when young these plants become prickly and unpleasant to handle as they get bigger.
There is also a trade in the honey gathered and a local producer, Airbourne Honey, gathers and supplies it. Look at www.airborne.co.nz/Vipersb.shtml
|You can see the attraction for the bees.|
Some places the whole landscape turns blue with blossom before Christmas as we turn from spring into the heat of the southern summer.
|A good addition to the view. Olive trees behind.|
Vipers Bugloss is a native of Europe and Asia. Where it has been introduced in the USA, and Australia it has spread and is regarded as a pest.
"Echium plantagineum", another well known honey plant from Australia is a close relative. In Victoria it is called "Paterson's Curse" after the unfortunate family who made the mistake of introducing it. In the state of South Australia however it is called "Salvation Jane". Why ? Who was Jane ? What was her story ?