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Hoary Puccoon, Orange Puccoon, Indian Paint - Lithospermum canescens


Family: Boraginaceae - Borage family Genus Common Name: Stoneseed Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Lithospermum canescens - Hoary Puccoon, Orange Puccoon, Indian Paint. About 18 (to 22 if you include Onosmodium - Marbleseed - in Lithospermum, as most recent classification is doing) of the 60 or so Lithospermum species are found in North America, with one in each of the lower 48 states, and most of Canada. All but one of these species are native (L. officinale, the introduced species, is found in the north east and north central states and eastern Canada.)

Lithospermum canescens is one of the more widespread species, found in most states from the plains eastward, although more concentrated in the central part of the country. Other widespread species with overlapping ranges are a pair of eastern species, L. caroliniense (Carolina Puccoon) and L. latifolium (American Stoneseed), and two more western species, L. incisum (Narrowleaf Stoneseed.) and L. ruderale (Western Stoneseed.)

Found in:
AL, AR, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NJ, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV

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Lithospermum canescens

Distribution of Lithospermum canescens in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 24 Jul 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Chickamauga Battlefield Cedar Glade, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-April-29Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The flower of Lithospermum canescens has a bright golden yellow to orange, 5-lobed corolla. The style is contained within the corolla tube, unlike the species which have been moved over to Lithospermum from Onosmodium, which seem to all have exserted styles.
Lithospermum canescens

Site: Chickamauga Battlefield Cedar Glade, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-April-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Hoary Puccoon is a plant of dry woodlands and glades such as the cedar glade where this was photographed. They grow to about 18 inches tall, frequently with multiple unbranched stems arising from a single taproot.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Lithospermum canescens

Site: Chickamauga Battlefield Cedar Glade, Catoosa County, Ga Date: 2014-April-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Pretty much all parts of the plant are hairy, typical of Boraginaceae species, although with a name such as “hoary puccoon” this is probably more densely hairy than most other Lithospermum species. The leaves are alternate and about 2 inches long.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Lithospermum canescens

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer