With over 30 species Anchusa is best known for Anchusa azurea or ‘Bugloss’. However it also known as the ‘Summer forget me not’. Attractive blue trumpet shaped flowers Anchusa is an easy to grow garden plant that flowers well in spring to summer.

Grown for the flowers which are an intense indigo blue, this clump forming perennial flowers from late spring through summer.

As a garden plant Anchusa azurea has a number of other desirable qualities. It is drought tolerant once established, it can be cut back hard after the first flowers have faded and will happily produce a second flush as good as the first.

It does have a few problems as well. It self seeds easily, however the seeds seem to drop close to the parent plant.


Suited to growing from zones 3 – 10, Anchusa prefers a humus rich moist soil and will benefit from mulching around the plants in winter. Good drainage is essential and many gardeners like to deadhead plants after flowering to encourage a second flush as well as prevent self seeding.

A well drained soil in a sunny position is just about all Anchusa azurea needs to thrive. Some extra water during very dry summers will improve appearance.

In fall you can remove all of the old growth, pruning back hard.

We suggest planting in a cottage style garden where it can be allowed to self seed. You can also grow Anchusa azurea in a container.


  • Anchusa azurea is known as Italian bugloss, with A.azurea ‘Dropmore’ being a popular cultivar.
  • Anchusa officinalis is the ‘Common Bugloss’ or ‘Alkanet’.
  • The blue flowering Anchusa capensis ‘Cape bugloss’ is a vigorous clump forming species.
  • Anchusa capensis ‘Blue Angel’ is a smaller growing species
  • “Blue angel’ and ‘London Royalist are two others.


Easy from seed or from softwood cuttings. It is also possible to divide established clumps in early spring.


Not really suited to areas of high heat and humidity in summer.