*Echium plantagineum

Family Boraginaceae

Paterson’s Curse, Salvation Jane

Short lived perennial herb to 1.5 m high, usually multistemmed, with short stout tap root and numerous laterals, overwinters as rosettes.

Flowers: Purple, pink or white, September – April. Probably honey bee pollinated.

Fruit: Fruit of 4 mericarps, mature December – January.

Seed: Plants produce large amounts of seed, Locally dispersed. Soil stored seedbank.

Gallery images: seed, seedling, rootstock, resprout


  • Native of Europe.
  • Weed of woodland, roadsides and pasture habitats.
  • Occasional weed in grasslands at the Australian Botanic Garden.
  • Seeds reportedly eaten by birds, e.g. Richard’s Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae.
  • Roots reportedly eaten by Sulphur-crested Cockatoos Cacatua galerita.

Asterisk * indicates exotic species naturalised at the Australian Botanic Garden.

Ecology of Cumberland Plain Woodland

Echium plantagineum plant

Echium plantagineum flower 

Echium plantagineum friut