Some people do not consider this one of our native plants, but it is widely distributed over the country. You find it in hedge-banks and by the roadside in spring and autumn.
The Alkanet is an erect, hairy plant, which is not quite so bristly as its cousin, the Common Borage.
The flowers have small blue tubes, lined inside with white, and there is a deeply waved sky-blue wheel round the mouth. When in bud the flowers are deep pink. These flowers grow either singly or two or three together, at the end of straight stalks which rise from between the leaf and the stem.
There are five purple-headed stamens clinging to the white lining of the tube, and there is also a tiny seed-vessel. These you cannot see until you pick the flower to pieces.
The mouth of the calyx-cup is edged with five blunt points, and it is covered with soft hairs.
The leaves also are covered with soft hairs and have scarcely any stalks, but grow singly on alternate sides of the stem. These leaves are oval, with smooth, regular edges. They are olive-green above and bluey-green underneath.
If you cut the stem across, near the ground, you will see that it is six-sided. It is a juicy stem, with scarcely any hollow in the centre, and it is covered with fine, soft hairs.
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