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Lithospermum canescens (Hoary puccoon)
Smith, R.W.

Lithospermum canescens

Lithospermum canescens (Michx.) Lehm.

Hoary Puccoon

Boraginaceae (Borage Family)

Synonym(s): Batschia canescens

USDA Symbol: LICA12

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Hoary Puccoon’s clumps of leafy stems grow 6-18 in. tall. A hairy, grayish plant with terminal clusters of yellow-orange, tubular flowers; leaves and stems covered with fine soft hairs, giving plant a hoary look. The leaves are bright green, small and narrow, and, like the stems, are covered with silky hairs. Bright, yellow-orange flowers form dense clusters at the tips of the stems. The flowers are tubular and five-lobed.

Puccoon is an Algonquian word for a number of plants that yield dyes. Among the other species in the East, Hairy Puccoon (L. caroliniense) has harsher, longer hairs; Corn Gromwell (L. arvense), originally European but now found throughout the United States, is an annual with inconspicuous white flowers among its upper leaf axils.


From the Image Gallery

21 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AL , AR , DC , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
Canada: MB , ON , SK
Native Distribution: NJ to Sask., s. to n.c. NC & TX
Native Habitat: Dry to mesic, rich prairies & open woods

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry to moderately moist, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: This Lithospermum species is usually not found in sands.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Lithospermum canescens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lithospermum canescens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lithospermum canescens


Record Modified: 2023-02-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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