:"See also Anchusa class corvette, a former class of Royal Navy ships"Taxobox
name = "Anchusa"

image_width = 210px
image_caption = "Anchusa officinalis"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = incertae sedis
familia = Boraginaceae
genus = "Anchusa"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text.

The genus "Anchusa" L. belongs to the tribe Boragineae of the borage family (Boraginaceae). It includes about 40 species.

These species grow in Europe, North Africa, South Africa en Western Asia. They are introduced into the USA.

They consist of annual plants, biennial plants and perennial plants with the general characteristics of the borage family. They are generally herbs, covered with bristly hairs. The leaves are simple or undulate, covered with stiff hairs.

The small radially symmetrical flowers are sapphire blue and retain their color a long time. The plants show numerous flowers with 5 sepals, united at their bases, and 5 petals forming a narrow tube facing upwards. The flowers grow in several axillary cymes, simple or branched, or are clustered at the end. The flowers are much frequented by bees.

The roots of "Anchusa" (just like those of "Alkanna" and "Lithospermum") contain anchusin (or alkanet-red ), a red-brown resinoid coloring matter. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in alcohol, chloroform and ether.

"Anchusa" species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including "Coleophora onosmella".


There are four subgenera : "Buglossum", "Buglossoides", "Buglossellum" and "Anchusa".

The first two form one subclade, the other two each a separate subclade. The subclade of the subgenus "Anchusa" (containing "Anchusa capensis") is largely unresolved.

If we consider "Anchusa s.l.", then it includes the subgenus "Limbata", which diverges markedly in its floral morphology.

The subgenera "Buglossum", "Buglossellum" and "Buglossoides" clearly need new independent entities, while the subgenus "Anchusa" needs a narrower concept. This way taxonomy and phylogeny with respect to "Anchusa" can become completely analogous.

The following genera are synonyms for Anchusa : "Buglossum" Mill., "Hormuzakia" Gusul, "Lycopsis" L. and "Phyllocara" Gusul.. The genus "Anchusella" Bigazzi et al. is sometimes included in "Anchusa".


* "Anchusa aegyptiaca" (L.) A. DC.
* "Anchusa aggregata" Lehm.
* "Anchusa arvensis" (L.) M.Bieb.. : Small Bugloss, Bugloss, Annual Bugloss
** "Anchusa arvensis" subsp. "arvensis"
* "Anchusa atlantica" Ball
* "Anchusa aucheri" A. DC.
* "Anchusa azurea" P.Mill.: Italian Bugloss, Large Blue Alkanet
* "Anchusa barrelieri" (All.) Vitman: Barrelier's bugloss
* "Anchusa caespitosa" Lam.
* "Anchusa calcarea" Boiss.
* "Anchusa capellii" Moris
* "Anchusa capensis" Thunb.: Cape Bugloss, Cape Forget-me-not
* "Anchusa cretica" Miller
* "Anchusa crispa" Viv. (status vulnerable to endangered in France and Italy)
* "Anchusa davidovii" Stoj.
* "Anchusa formosa" sp. nov. : (Sardinia)
* "Anchusa gmelinii" Ledeb.
* "Anchusa hispida" Forsskål
* "Anchusa hybrida" Ten.
* "Anchusa italica" Retz.
* "Anchusa leptophylla" Roemer & Schultes
* "A. leucantha" sp. nov. (Greece)
* "Anchusa littorea" Moris
* Anchusa macedonica Degen & Dörfler : to be removed ; shows too much affinities with "Gastrocotyle hispida" or the related genus "Cynoglottis" (Selvi, F. & Bigazzi, M. - T"axon 49: 765-778. 2000")
* Anchusa macrosyrinx Rech. fil. = synonym of "A. undulata" ssp. "sartorii"
* "Anchusa mairei" Gusuleac
* "Anchusa milleri" Sprengel
* "Anchusa ochroleuca" M.Bieb. : Yellow Alkanet
* "Anchusa officinalis" L. : True Alkanet, Bugloss, Common Bugloss, Corn Bugloss, Field Bugloss (type species)
** "A. officinalis" L. ssp. "intacta" (Griseb.) Selvi & Bigazz
* "Anchusa ovata" Lehm.
* "Anchusa procera" Besser
* "Anchusa pseudogranatensis" (Br.-Bl. & Maire) Sennen & Mauricio
* "Anchusa puechii" Valdés
* "Anchusa pusilla" Gusuleac
* "Anchusa samothracica"
* "Anchusa sartorii" Gusuleac
* "Anchusa sempervirens" : Evergreen Alkanet)
* "Anchusa spruneri" Boiss.
* "Anchusa strigosa"
* "Anchusa stylosa" M.Bieb.
** "Anchusa stylosa" M.Bieb. ssp. "spruneri" (Boiss.) Selvi & Bigazzi
* "Anchusa subglabra" A. Caballero
* "Anchusa thessala"
* "Anchusa tiberiadis" Post
* "Anchusa undulata" L.
** "Anchusa undulata" subsp. "granatensis" (Boiss.) Valdés
** "Anchusa undulata" subsp. "lamprocarpa" Br.-Bl. & Maire
** "Anchusa undulata" subsp. "viciosoi" Laínz
** "Anchusa undulata" ssp. "sartorii" (Gu ul.) Selvi & Bigazzi
* "Anchusa variegata" (L.) Lehm.
* "Anchusa velenovskii" (Gusuleac) Stoj.


* [ Molecular Systematics of Boraginaceae Tribe Boragineae Based on ITS1 and trnL Sequences, with Special Reference to Anchusa s.l.; HILGER et al. Ann Bot.2004; 94: 201-212.]

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