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Onosma echioides - L.
Common Name Onosma
Family Boraginaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards The bristly stems and leaves can cause a good deal of irritation to the skin[219].
Habitats Limestone slopes and rocks to 1600 metres[187]. Crevices in rocks and cliffs[89].
Range S. Europe to N. Africa.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun


Onosma echioides Onosma

Onosma echioides Onosma
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Onosma echioides is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. In. West Wall. In.
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Alterative;  Laxative;  Poultice;  Stimulant.

The leaves are alterative[240]. They are made into a powder and given to children as a purgative[240]. The flowers are used as a cordial and stimulant in the treatment of rheumatism and palpitations of the heart[240]. The root is bruised and used as an external application to skin eruptions[240].
Other Uses

A red dye is obtained from the root. It is an alkanna substitute[46, 61].
Cultivation details
Requires a well-drained soil in full sun[1, 187]. Prefers a deep rather rich sandy loam[1]. Best grown in a crevice in a rock garden or on a wall[1, 187]. Tolerates hot dry conditions and also drought once it is established, but disliking winter wet[190]. Plants also dislike wet summers[200]. Hardy to about -15°c[187]. There is some confusion over this species. It is given as a part of O. frutescens in some reports but [200] gives it specific status. A very ornamental plant[1].
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in early spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings in a frame in the summer. Shade them for the first 10 - 12 days[1].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Readers comment
ren   Thu Apr 21 20:21:31 2005
I would appreciate if someone from your site might offer me additional information regarding the possible permanent harmful affects of Onosma echioides

I recently used a topical oil that dripped into my lower eye lid causing severe burining for the last 24 hours, I have used saline though still slight pain the composition consisted of (Charetta Rusi oil Loh-churna Karpoor Ratajyot Chandan oil Khus oil Sesame oil Pudinasat (menthol?, not sure) Mulethi ( I believe licorice) Gulab phool (is this lieterally essence of a rose flower?)

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Subject : Onosma echioides  

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