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Stemodia lanata (Woolly stemodia)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Stemodia lanata

Stemodia lanata Sessé & Moc. ex Benth.

Woolly Stemodia, Gray-woolly Twintip

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Synonym(s): Stemodia tomentosa

USDA Symbol: stla17

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Native only to coastal and southern Texas and adjacent Mexico, Woolly Stemodia is a silver, whitish, or greyish plant that is great for the foliage alone....and then it blooms, with tiny lavender or white flowers that are best appreciated at close range. It colonizes densely by stolons and in sandy soil can blanket an area in its velvety white leaves. Quite suitable and attractive for trailing over the edge of a pot or wall, it dies back where winters are cold, but in warmer areas, it is reliably evergreen.


From the Image Gallery

24 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Leaf Pubescence: Pilose
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Stems prostrate or decumbent, up to about 3 feet long.
Leaf: White-green, grey-green, green-white.
Flower: Flowers half an inch.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: Small, scattered flowers. Usually purple with white throats and violet venation, but can also be entirely white.


Native Distribution: Coastal and south Texas west to west Texas and south to adjacent Mexico.
Native Habitat: In dunes and sandy soils on slopes in scrublands and plains. Mainly along the Gulf Coast and in the Rio Grande plains.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Deep, sandy, well-drained, acid or calcareous soils of plains, brushlands, slopes, dunes, and beaches. Saline tolerant.


Use Ornamental: A dense foliage groundcover, evergreen in mild winters.
Warning: This species and others in the same genus are accumulators of selenium, a soil element absorbed by plants that is poisonous to livestock if sufficiently concentrated. Humans should generally avoid ingesting plants that are toxic to animals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Fresh, untreated seed or rooted cuttings. Stems root at the nodes and can easily be cut and transplanted.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: TWC Staff, LAS

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