From Amanda Homans, Agronomist for Decisive Farming.

Common name: Blueweed

Latin name: Echium vulgare

Blueweed is a biennial weed that can be found in hay fields, rangelands, roadsides, and waste areas.  It forms a large black tap root and a rosette in the first year; the flowers don’t appear until the second year.  Blueweed grows in clusters, and the rosette leaves are covered with a mixture of short and long stiff hairs.  The long hairs have swollen bases which make the steam appear speckled.  Blueweed plants may cause rashes in sensitive individuals, so handle with care.  When Blueweed matures, the flowers typically start out reddish purple and turn bright blue after emergence.  Each flower produces four rough, gray to brownish seeds.