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Southern Stoneseed, Tuberous Stoneseed, Tuberous Gromwell - Lithospermum tuberosum


Family: Boraginaceae - Borage family Genus Common Name: Stoneseed Native Status: Native
Lithospermum tuberosum - Southern Stoneseed, Tuberous Stoneseed, Tuberous Gromwell. A hairy plant growing from 1 to 2 feet tall in forests with underlying limestone rocks in the southeastern United States. While the genus name refers to the very hard seed, the species epithet refers to the tuber-like root. I photographed this plant after author Jay Clark pointed it out to me as we crossed a limestone outcropping on a deer trail we were walking in one of the few places in Georgia where it can be found.

Found in:
AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

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Lithospermum tuberosum

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

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 23 Mar 2017). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County GA Date: 2011-April-02Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Blooming in mid-spring, Southern Stoneseed appears to have a cluster of yellow flowers terminating the branches, but they are actually solitary flowers growing from leaf axils crowded together at the end of the stem.
Lithospermum tuberosum

Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County GA Date: 2011-April-02Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The stem leaves of Lithospermum tuberosum are alternate and more slender than the basal leaves.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Lithospermum tuberosum

Site: Pigeon Mountain - East, Walker County GA Date: 2011-April-02Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Southern Stoneseed has a basal rosette of oblong leaves from 2 to 4 inches long. This basal rosette can be used to differentiate Lithospermum tuberosum from the similar L. latifolium, American Stoneseed, which is generally taller and has no basal rosette. All parts of the plant are hairy, some densely.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Lithospermum tuberosum

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