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    "Litho", is Greek for "stone" and "spermum" for "seed". All three species shown on this page are commonly known as "Puccoons".
Lithospermum incisum

Lithospermum incisum (Fringed Gromwell)
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Canyons, shrublands, woodlands. Spring.
Upper Mule Canyon, Utah, April 8, 2005.

An abundance of long, fringed, lemon-yellow trumpets makes Lithospermum incisum a most attractive plant in bloom.  Typically the plant grows low to the ground but it may be as tall as twenty inches.  Notice last year's dried flower stems.

"Incisum", Latin, refers to the incised, fringed edges of the trumpet flowers.  The plant is commonly known as "Puccoon" or "Fringed Puccoon".

Lithospermum incisum

Lithospermum incisum

Lithospermum incisum (Fringed Gromwell)
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

 

Semi-desert, foothills. Canyons, shrublands, woodlands. Spring. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 21, 2009.
Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area, Utah, April 14, 2009.

Lithospermum incisum begins flowering as the leaves emerge and continues flowering as the plant multiplies many-fold in size.  The flowers in the lower photograph are nearly three inches long.

Lithospermum multiflorum (Puccoon)
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
West Mancos Trail, June 26, 2004 and June 17, 2010.
Lone Mesa State Park, June 11, 2008.

Bright yellow tubular flowers; narrow, slightly toothed leaves; and a clumpy growth pattern characterize Lithospermum multiflorum.  Stems lean outward in all directions.  Flowers overall are smaller, have a much shorter tube, and have a more open throat than those of Lithospermum incisum.

Lithospermum multiflorum

Lithospermum ruderale

Lithospermum ruderale (Puccoon) Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Foothills. Woodlands. Spring. Mesa Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 30, 2009.

This Puccoon grows in crowded, tall, thick clumps and is fairly common in Oakbrush woods.  Lithospermum ruderale has yellow-green, hairy stems and tiny pale yellow-to-green-white flowers.  Last year's dried stems can be seen in the new clump of stems and more obviously at the base of the new growth.

"Ruderale" is Latin for "rubbish", hence "growing in waste places".

Lithospermum ruderale (Puccoon) Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Foothills. Woodlands. Spring. Mesa Verde Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 30, 2009.

Stems are thick, crowded, and hairy.

Lithospermum ruderale

Lithospermum ruderale (Puccoon) Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Foothills. Woodlands. Spring. Mesa Verde Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 30, 2009.

Although the flowers are quite small and partially buried in the leaves, the overall aspect of the flowers and leaves is quite delicate and appealing.

Lithospermum ruderale
 

Lithospermum ruderale (Puccoon) Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Foothills. Woodlands. Spring. Mesa Verde National Park, near amphitheater, May 14, 2004.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Lithospermum incisum

Range map for Lithospermum multiflorum

Range map for Lithospermum ruderale  

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