by Stephen Mifsud
   3 Dec 2023      ()
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Echium parviflorum   (Small-flowered Viper's Bugloss)

Echium parviflorum  (BORAGINACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Echium parviflorum - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 03-Dec-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Echium parviflorumMoench
Published in Meth. 423 (1794)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Echium calycinum Viv.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Boraginaceae Juss. (The Borage Family)
16 species from the Boraginaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Small-flowered Viper's Bugloss

Maltese name(s) :

Lsien il-fart żgħir

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent    Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

January – April

Colour of Flowers:

Blue or Pink


Mildy toxic, can cause adverse conditions if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :

Echium: From the Greek 'Echis' meaning a viper and most probably referring to the flower shape which appear to represent a vipers head. Another source states that the name alludes to the fact that roots of these plants drunk with wine was regarded both as good to act against snakebites and also as a continuing protection for future snake bites. (Greek origin )
parviflorum: small flowers, usually in comparison to flowers of other species in the same genus. (Greek origin )

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Open habitats, esp. rocky and dry places
Preferred habitat in Malta: Found in various habitats, especially in steppe and abandoned fields
Botanical Description: Hispid annual or biennial 10-40 cm, with several to many ascending or erect flowering stems. Leaves with sparse to dense appressed setae; the basal 55-120 x 5-25 mm, spathulate to oblanceolate, long-petiolate; the cauline obovate or oblong, the uppermost sessile. Calyx 6-8 mm at anthesis, up to 15 mm with wide lobes in fruit. Corolla 10-13 mm, pale or dark blue, with all the stamens included.
Chromosome number: 2n=16
Distributional range: Mediterranean region

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Doubtful in Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
? AE Ag Al Bl(I M N) Co Cr Ct Ga Gr Hs(S) It ?Li ?LS ?Lu Ma Sa Si(M S) Tn Tu(A)

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

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Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (11 images)
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-0.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-1.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-2.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-3.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-4.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-5.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-6.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-7.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-8.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-9.
   Echium parviflorum   -   Image Code: ECHPV-10.

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