Unlike annual and viper's bugloss, common bugloss is hairy but not spiny. Although it is also found in the Alps at elevations of 2300 meters, it is a plant that cherishes warmth. Common bugloss is fairly rare in the Netherlands, growing best in warm dry dune slacks, preferably rich but not too rich in calcium. There are areas on Vlieland, in the Kennermer dunes and the dunes between Zandvoort and Noordwijk where it grows in large numbers. Common bugloss often grows together with evening primrose and campions.