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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Bugloss \Bu"gloss\, n.; pl. Buglosses. [F. buglosse, L. buglossa, buglossus, fr. Gr. ? oxtongue ? ox + ? tongue.] (Bot.) A plant of the genus Anchusa, and especially the Anchusa officinalis, sometimes called alkanet; oxtongue.

Small wild bugloss, the Asperugo procumbens and the Lycopsis arvensis.

Viper's bugloss, a species of Echium.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"dye material from bugloss plant roots," early 14c., from Spanish alcaneta, diminutive of alcana, from Arabic al-hinna (see henna). As the name of the plant itself, from 1560s.


n. 1 (taxlink Alkanna tinctoria species noshow=1), a plant whose root is used as a red dye. 2 The dyeing matter extracted from the plant, giving a deep red colour. 3 Other plants of the (taxlink Alkanna genus noshow=1) genus. 4 (taxlink Anchusa officinalis species noshow=1) ((vern: common bugloss)), a similar plant. 5 (taxlink Anchusa ochroleuca species noshow=1) ((vern: yellow alkanet)). 6 (taxlink Anchusa barrelieri species noshow=1) ((vern: false alkanet)). 7 (taxlink Lithospermum arvense species noshow=1) ((vern: bastard alkanet) or (vern: field gromwell)). 8 (taxlink Pentaglottis sempervirens species noshow=1) ((vern: green alkanet)), a blue-flowered plant with evergreen leaves. 9 The American puccoon.


n. perennial or biennial herb cultivated for its delicate usually blue flowers [syn: bugloss, Anchusa officinalis]


Alkanet is the common name of several related plants in the borage family ( Boraginaceae):

  • Alkanet, Alkanna tinctoria, the source of a red dye; this is the plant most commonly called simply "alkanet"
  • Various other plants of the Alkanna genus may be informally called alkanet.
  • Alkanet or common bugloss, Anchusa officinalis
  • Bastard alkanet or field gromwell, Lithospermum arvense
  • False alkanet, Anchusa barrelieri
  • Green alkanet, Pentaglottis sempervirens, a blue-flowered plant with evergreen leaves
  • Yellow alkanet, Anchusa ochroleuca

Usage examples of "alkanet".

Among them are aniline violet, iodine violet, madder, alkanet, orchil and logwood.

The bulbs may be divided every three years with advantage, and may be usefully planted in lines in front of shrubs, or mixed with other strong-growing flowers, such as alkanets, lupins, and foxgloves.

Borage was sometimes called Bugloss by the old herbalists, a name that properly belongs to Anchusa officinalis, the Alkanet, the Small Bugloss being Lycopsis arvensis, and Viper's Bugloss being the popular name for Echium vulgare.