This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
This genus is very nearly allied to the last, but the corolla is funnel-shaped and the nuts rugose or granulate. The species number about thirty, and are found in Europe and West Asia. The derivation of the generic name has not been satisfactorily e x-plained. Two species are found in waste places in Britain, but neither is considered to be indigenous. A. officinalis, Alkanet, is a biennial having softly hispid narrow lanceolate leaves and terminal cymes of violet-blue flowers with white papillose scales, the corolla-tube equalling or exceeding the limb; and A. sempervi-rens is a perennial with rough ovate leaves and bright blue flowers about 8 lines in diameter, in which the corolla-tube is shorter than the limb.
1. A.Itatica(fig. 179). - A handsome perennial species from 3 to 4 feet high with shining foliage and bright blue flowers. The radical leaves are lanceolate and from to 2 feet in length. A native of the South of Europe, flowering all the Summer.
Fig. 179. Anchusa Italica. (1/4 nat. size.)
There are numerous other species, but the above is the only ornamental plant of any value.