Description from Flora of China
Anchusa orientalis (Linnaeus) Reichenbach; Lycopsis arvensis Linnaeus subsp. orientalis (Linnaeus) Kuntze; L. orientalis Linnaeus.
Herbs annual. Stems branching usually from base, 10-40 cm tall, sparsely spreading hirsute. Basal and lower stem leaves petiolate, oblanceolate to linear-oblong, 4-14 × 1.2-3 cm, sparsely hirsute, margin undulate, denticulate. Cymes short at anthesis, becoming gradually elongated, to 25 cm; bracts ovate to linear-lanceolate, smaller than leaves. Pedicel ca. 2 mm, to 1.5 cm in fruit. Calyx ca. 7 mm, semiappressed hispid; lobes somewhat unequal, subulate, enlarged in fruit, substellate spreading. Corolla blue-purple, sometimes reddish purple, ca. 7 mm, glabrous; tube below middle slightly geniculately curved; appendages densely short pubescent; lobes spreading, wider than long. Stamens inserted below middle of corolla tube; filaments extremely short; anthers ca. 1 mm. Style ca. 2.5 mm. Nutlets bright brown, reniform, 3-3.5 × ca. 2 mm, finely tuberculate; attachment scar near base, cupular, margin without teeth. Seeds brown; cotyledons narrowly oblong. Fl. and fr. May-Jul. 2n = 16, 48.
The seeds contain an edible oil. Anchusa orientalis Linnaeus is a different species, blocking the transfer of the epithet from Lycopsis.
Hillsides, marshes, field margins. Gansu, Hainan, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Xizang [Afghanistan, N India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; NE Africa, SW Asia, SE Europe]