The genus Anchusa azurea has about a dozen species of perennial and biennial herbaceous plants, widespread in Europe and southern Africa.
The plants of Ancusa produce large bushes, 30-70 cm high; the thin rigid stems, slightly lignified at the base, tend to bend if they develop excessively in height; the leaves are lanceolate, almost linear, rough, light green; the whole plant, stems and leaves, appears covered by a thin down, which makes it appear gray or bluish.
In the spring season, at the apex of the stems of buglossa small blue, star-shaped flowers bloom, gathered in small bunches; they remember the forget-me-nots but they are bigger and darker. A. capensis is a biennial, often cultivated as an annual, the other species are perennial; it is advisable to prune the perennial species during the autumn months, to favor, the following year, the development of denser and more compact shrubs that produce a more luxuriant bloom.
To obtain good results with Anchusa azurea plants it is good to put it in a sunny place; it is advisable, however, to shade the ancusa plants during the summer months, in the hottest areas of the peninsula when the temperatures reach high levels.
The specimens of Buglossa do not fear the cold, but it is good to cover the roots with straw, dry leaves or mulching material during the winter season, to prevent frost and very cold temperatures from damaging them.
As for the correct supply of water to the plants of Anchusa azurea, from March to October, it is good to water regularly, leaving the soil to dry between one watering and the other, to prevent water stagnation which can be harmful to the specimens of ancusa; in general the buglosses suffer short periods of drought without problems.
During the vegetative period provide fertilizer for flowering plants, every 12-15 days, dissolved in the water of the watering so as to have a better flowering and growth.
The specimens belonging to the ancusa variety prefer quite humus-rich soils, light and very well drained; they develop without problems even in the common garden soil, as long as they guarantee excellent drainage, a decisive factor in preventing the root system of these plants from being damaged due to water stagnation. For the rest, these are rather rustic and resistant plants that can grow even in poor soils.
The multiplication of specimens of this genus usually occurs by seed or by cuttings; seeds of hybrid varieties generally do not produce specimens identical to the plant from which the seeds were taken.
To have plants with the same characteristics it is better to proceed with the cuttings technique.
Ancusa, Buglossa - Anchusa azurea: Parasites and diseases
These plants, in general, being of a rustic and resistant character, are not affected by pests or diseases, even if they suffer with ease of root rot or of the collar in case of water stagnation. Carefully check that the soil in which they are planted allows an excellent degree of drainage.