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Yellow Alkanet

Anchusa ochroleuca

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
80 centimetres tall
Gardens, wasteland.

Yellow, 5 petals
Small clusters of pale yellow flowers. The flowers are tubular in shape. Pollinated by bees.
The fruit is a nutlet.
Simple, hairy, oval to lance-shaped leaves. The leaves have untoothed margins. Perennial.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Anchusa ochroleuca, also known as yellow bugloss or pale bugloss, is a perennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It belongs to the borage family and is known for its small, yellow flowers and hairy, grey-green leaves. Anchusa ochroleuca is a tall plant that can reach heights of up to 3 feet (1 meter) and is often used as a border plant or in naturalized areas. It is easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and climates. Anchusa ochroleuca prefers full sun and is drought-tolerant once established. The plant is generally hardy and low maintenance, but it can be prone to pests such as slugs and snails. Anchusa ochroleuca is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and to determine the safety and effectiveness of using it medicinally.


Yellow Alkanet, also known as Anchusa ochroleuca, is a beautiful and unique perennial plant that can be found in various regions of Europe, including the Mediterranean. This plant is known for its bright yellow flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer, and its hairy leaves and stem.

One of the most interesting things about Yellow Alkanet is that it is a member of the borage family, which is known for its medicinal properties. The plant has been traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin irritations, wounds, and respiratory problems. The plant's roots contain a compound called mucilage, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Yellow Alkanet is also a popular plant in gardens and landscaping. The plant's bright yellow flowers make it a great addition to any flower bed, and it is also a popular choice for wildflower gardens. The plant is relatively easy to grow and care for, making it a great choice for both experienced and novice gardeners.

Yellow Alkanet is also a great plant for attracting wildlife to your garden. The plant's bright yellow flowers are a popular nectar source for bees and butterflies, and the plant's seeds are a favorite food of many birds.

However, it should be noted that Yellow Alkanet is considered an invasive species in some regions, so it's important to check the regulations in your area before planting it in your garden. Also, it has been reported that this plant can be toxic for livestock.

Another great feature of Yellow Alkanet is its versatility in terms of the type of soil and sunlight it can tolerate. It is able to grow in a range of soil types, from well-drained to dry and rocky soils. It also prefers full sun to partial shade, making it a great choice for gardens with varying light conditions.

In terms of care and maintenance, Yellow Alkanet is relatively low-maintenance. It is drought-tolerant and can survive in dry conditions, making it a great choice for those who want a plant that doesn't require frequent watering. It also doesn't require regular fertilization, but it can benefit from a light application of fertilizer in the spring.

Yellow Alkanet is also easy to propagate. It can be propagated by seed or by dividing the roots in the spring or fall. When planting, it's best to space the plants about 30-40 cm apart to give them room to grow.

Overall, Yellow Alkanet is a great choice for any gardener looking for a unique, low-maintenance, and versatile plant. Its bright yellow flowers and medicinal properties make it a great addition to any garden, and its ability to attract wildlife makes it a great choice for those interested in conservation. However, as mentioned before, it's important to check the regulations in your area and consider the risk of toxicity for livestock before planting it.

Another great use for Yellow Alkanet is in the world of natural dyeing. The roots of the plant contain a natural dye that can be used to create a variety of colors, from pale yellows to deep reds. The dye is extracted from the roots by boiling them and can then be used to dye fabrics, yarns, and other materials. The dye is known for its fastness, meaning it is resistant to fading and washing out.

In addition to its use as a dye, the leaves and flowers of Yellow Alkanet can also be used to make an herbal tea. The tea is said to have a mild, slightly bitter taste and can be used as a digestive aid. It can also be used to soothe sore throats and alleviate cold and flu symptoms.

In terms of design, Yellow Alkanet can be used in a variety of ways in the garden. It can be planted as a border, mixed in with other wildflowers, or used as a ground cover. Its bright yellow flowers can also be used in cut flower arrangements to add a pop of color.

In summary, Yellow Alkanet is a versatile and unique plant that can be used for medicinal, dyeing and ornamental purposes. Its bright yellow flowers and hairy leaves and stem make it a beautiful addition to any garden or landscape. Its ability to grow in various types of soil and light conditions, low-maintenance, and its use as a natural dye and herbal tea make it a great choice for any gardener or naturalist. As always, it's important to check the regulations in your area and consider the risk of toxicity for livestock before planting it.