Lithospermum canescens (Hoary Puccoon)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry; prairies, rocky open woods, along roads and railroads|
|Bloom season:||May - August|
|Plant height:||6 to 18 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Single, short-stalked flowers in the axils of 1 to 3 arching branches at the top of the stem, giving the appearance of a (more or less) flat cluster at the top of the plant. Flowers are orange-yellow, ½ inch across, tubular with 5 flaring, rounded petal-like lobes. The stamens are hidden inside the slender tube.
The 5 sepals at the base of the tube are narrowly triangular, less than ¼ inch long, and covered in long silky hairs. The flowering branches elongate as the plant matures, with flowers open at the tip and fruit forming below. The leafy bracts at the base of the flowers are more rounded at the tip, typically widest at the tip end, and become progressively smaller as they ascend the branch.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are up to 2½ inches long and to ½ inch wide, narrowly lance-oblong with a blunt point at the tip and no stalk. Leaf edges are toothless, hairy, the upper surface sparsely hairy, the underside more densely and softly hairy. Stems are multiple from the base (up to 5), covered in long, soft, gray hairs, and usually unbranched except in the flowers.
Hoary Puccoon is very similar to Carolina Puccoon (Lithospermum caroliniense), which has larger (1-inch) flowers, the sepals are likewise longer, and the stem hairs shorter, more sparse and more bristly hairy where Hoary Puccoon is softly hairy.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Hoary Puccoon plant
- Hoary Puccoon plants
- elongating 3 branches
- plants are where you find them!
- spring on the prairie: Hoary Puccoon with Prairie Smoke, Blue-eyed Grass and Pussytoes
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Goodhue County, at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County, and Grey Cloud Dunes SNA, Washington County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?