Viper’s Bugloss

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Viper's Bugloss


Echium plantagineum, Salvation Jane, Patterson’s Curse, Tower of Jewels


Biennial or triennial plant with a tapering stem which grows up to thirteen feet. Leaves are silver / green, lanceolate and curling with irritating hairs. Flowers are rose / purple / blue grow in spikes

Viper's Bugloss

Concern Level

Only during drought conditions, unpalatable, can be incorporated into hay. High toxicity level and irritating hairs, animals should be kept clear of these plants.

Toxic Parts

Hairs that cover the stem and leaves produce severe inflammation when they come in contact with the skin.

Viper's Bugloss


Lack of appetite, weakness, yawning, lack of coordination, jaundice of mucous membranes, aimless walking, chewing motions, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, death.


Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which cause liver failure, called “walking disease” or “sleepy staggers” and can be fatal.

Viper's Bugloss

Image from les

More Information

Dave’s Garden

*It should be noted that we are not veterinarians. This information is written specifically for horses and should be used for reference purposes only. If you think your horse has eaten something toxic call your vet right away.

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