This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Conspicuous and common in the cornfields this plant is found today (and not in any early deposits) in Europe, W. Siberia, W. Asia, as far as N.W. India. It has been introduced into the United States. Field Bugloss is found in every part of Great Britain, except Radnor, Cardigan, Montgomery; and up to 1000 ft. in the Highlands.
Field Bugloss does not ever, in spite of its name, occur anywhere except upon cultivated land. It is a familiar weed in the cornfield, where it grows side by side with the Poppy, Charlock, Corn Marigold, Common Sow Thistle. It is also to be seen in the vicinity of waste places and kindred spots where cultivated weeds abound.
The first Greek name is said to refer to a fancied resemblance between the flower of the plant and a wolf's eye. It is a tall, erect, slender, usually unbranched plant, with a stem nearly angular, and very hairy or prickly. The leaves are narrowly elliptical, alternate, stalkless, blunt, and hairy, the hairs rising from a small wartlike or tuberous base or tubercle, wavy, pale underneath, turned back and clasping the stem.
The flowers are deep blue, and more or less turned to one side, nearly stalkless, in turned-back drooping cymes. The sepals are narrow, deeply cut, do not fall, and are erect. The corolla is funnel-shaped with a crooked limb, with a closed mouth and white scales. The nutlets are black, wrinkled, and netted.
Field Bugloss is about 1 - 2 ft. high. The flowers bloom in May right on until August. This plant is an annual, propagated from seed, and quite worth placing in the garden.
The flowers are similar to those of Anchusa, and they have similar contrivances for secreting, holding, protecting, and indicating the honey. The corolla is tubular, the mouth closed by five white hairy scales. The tube is curved and longer than the limb. The stamens are included, small, and placed at the junction of limb and tube, with small anthers. The style is as long as the stamens, the stigma lobed and blunt. The flowers are visited and pollinated chiefly by bees, and partly by Lepidoptera, etc, Hesperia. The nutlets are dispersed when ripe around the parent plant.
Photo. A. R. Horwoo - Field Bugloss (Lycopsis arvensis, L.)
Field Bugloss is a sand plant and addicted to a sand soil.
A microfungus, Puccinia dispersa, attacks the leaves.
Lycopsis, Dioscorides, is from the Greek lycos, wolf, ops, opsis, face, because the flowers were supposed to resemble a wolf's face; and the second Latin name indicates its preference for arable land.
The only name is Bugloss.
The Field Bugloss was held to be a remedy for carbuncle or the plague.
Essential Specific Characters: 214. Lycopsis arvensis, L. - Stem erect, branched above, hirsute, radical leaves obovate, stem-leaves linear-ovate, sinuous, hispid, flowers blue, in cymes, subsessile.