Brunnera macrophylla, an alien plant new in Italian flora
Brunnera macrophylla (Borraginaceae) is a perennial plant originating from the Caucasus and resembling Mysosotis. It grows in shaded and humid places with cool, deep and subacid soils. The species is recorded in the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom (Flora Europaea). In spring 2005, it was found on a humid roadside in the national park of Toscana, more precisely in Badia Prataglia (Provincia di Arezzo), at an altitude of 830 m. It was found in five stations around houses, along roadsides and on disturbed land, but it was not observed colonizing uncultivated habitats.
It is supposed that B. macrophylla has been voluntarily introduced in Toscana for ornamental purposes around the 1950s. It reproduces by rhizomes which are also spread by wild boars.
According to the Global Compendium of Weeds, the species is only recorded as “naturalized” and “casual alien” where it has been introduced and no invasive behaviour has been recorded. Considering that the species is currently spreading, it will be monitored within the national park in order to prevent invasions of unmanaged habitats.
Frignani F, Landi M, Zoccola A, Selvi F (2006) [On the presence of Brunnera macrophylla (Boraginaceae) in Tuscany, an alien species new for the Italian flora]. (in Italian) Informatore botanico italiano 38, 563-567
A Global Compendium of Weeds. http://www.hear.org/gcw/alpha_select_gcw.htm
Tutin TG, Heywood VH, Burges NA, Moore DM, Valentine DH, Walters SM and Webb DA (1964/80) Flora Europaea, Vol 1-5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.