I am trying to identify a bristly herb which has a corolla of around 5mm, 5 blue petals with a white eye. and an ovary made of 4 nutlets. I'm sure it's in the borage family for this reason.

It's keying out as green alkanet but the inflorescence is quite different so I am sure it's not green alkanet. Rather than having a dense, bristly inflorescence at the end of stalks, the inflorescence is single flowers at the end of branching stalks several times longer than the calyx.

It looks more like a forget me not but it has a white eye (not yellow) and the plant is bristly. I thought it could be a wood forget me not, but there don't appear to be any hairs on the calyx.

Attached are 2 pictures, one of the "mystery" plant together with the green alkanet (you will see the inflorescence is completely different, and one of the "mystery" plant on its own. alkanet and mystery plant mystery plant

1 Answer 1


Boraginaceae yes, but neither Myosotis (forget-me-not), nor pentaglottis (alkanet), but Brunera macrophylla, the Siberian bugloss.

It looks like an “oversized” forget-me-not with heart shaped or wide oval leaves (unlike the lanceolate leaves of the common forget-me-nots) and flower sprays that are carried rather above the leaves in sparse clusters, so that sometimes they seem to be “floating” above the greenery. Flower heads seem compact when they start to bloom, but spread out until fully in bloom like in your photo.

  • Thank you very much Stephie! Brunera macrophylla isn't in my wild flower key so that explains why I couldn't find it :) Much appreciated!
    – user29540
    Apr 15, 2020 at 9:46
  • @Stephie - this plant could actually be European Bugloss, See this question for more info: gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/51267/…. User29540 - where are you located? Are there large basal leaves on your plant? The bristles are, I think, a key to this plant being European Bugloss, not Brunnera.
    – Jurp
    Apr 16, 2020 at 13:18

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