Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Echium plantagineum - Purple Viper's-bugloss

Range & Status

A Mediterranean-Atlantic species. It is regarded as native in the extreme west of Cornwall (Margetts & David, 1981). A casual in southern England, and frequent in Jersey.

Regional Distribution

Native in seven 1km squares (three of which are extant) near St. Just in Penwith (SW32 & SW33), and casual elsewhere. Formerly in the Isles of Scilly.

Habitat & Ecology

Near St. Just it grows in abundance in a variety of weedy, arable fields north of Nanquidno. As a casual it may be found near gardens and in bulb-fields.


Recently some of the St. Just fields have been converted to permanent pasture and

Purple Viper' s-bugloss has now disappeared. It is also threatened by herbicide use and other changes in husbandry.


Some of the arable fields at St. Just are managed by the National Trust.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.