Green Alkanet is a bristly perennial plant from Northern Europe. Green alkanet has long been cultivated in gardens, especially on alkaline soils and occurs as a garden escapee naturalised in woods and grassy places. Its ability to self-seed and regenerate from the roots make it a troublesome weed.
It grows to between 60 and 90 cm with five bright blue petals. It keeps its leaves all through winter so is quite popular with gardeners. Although due to its brittle tap root and self seeding it’s difficult to remove if they change their mind.
It was regarded as edible in the past, though foul tasting, however it has now been shown to contain carcinogens. Care should be taken around the leaves and stem as the hairs can be irritating.