Andersonglossum (Cynoglossum) virginianum

Wild Comfrey or Hounds Tongue
Photo Courtesy of: Fritzflohrreynolds, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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Andersonglossum (Cynoglossum) virginianum is native to the Eastern United States and across Canada. It ranges across the central and southeastern parts of the U.S. and is often found in open uplands, such as in southern New England, from New York to Illinois, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and from the south to Florida. A closely related species, Andersonglossum boreale is disappearing from the southern part of its range in the United States.

Andersonglossum virginianum is an erect, unbranched perennial with rough fine hair on its leaves and stem. Their leaves are simple, entire, and have an alternate pattern. The leaves are denser at the lower end of the stem and they get smaller going up the stem. It has two to six racemes. The flowers have five deep lobes that are connected to a superior ovary which in turn is connected to the style. The flowers have rounded, light blue corollas that overlap each other. The corollas alternate with stamen with anthers. Overall the flower resemble forget-me-not (It is in the same family (Boraginacaea), as is comfrey).

A forest plant, flowering and seeding require increased light and a richer soil, and this is often achieved via random fires. Competition with other understory herbs that require the same conditions can restrict growth and flowering, but if there is too much light, then woody species may develop creating evem more competition for light and space, so a balanced sate of succession is needed.

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, hepatoxins capable of affecting grazing animals and humans, are synthesized by many  borages including Andersonglossum officinale. Presumably this provides some protection against generalist herbivores.

Adapted from: Wikipedia

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