Lithospermum canescens
(Hoary Puccoon)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Hoary Puccoon, Yellow Puccoon
    Synonyms: Batschia canescens
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 3 - 7
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: May - July
    Status: Native

Lithospermum canescens, or Hoary Puccoon, is native to most of the eastern United States, except the deep South, and it is especially prevalent in the east-central US and Great Lakes area. It grows in open woods and woodland edges, as well as dry open prairies and meadows. It blooms in late spring to early summer, with bright yellow-orange flowers.

This species is very similar to its cousin, Lithospermum caroliniense, and while the two look very similar, and also grow in the same type of habitats, there are some important differences. On the whole, Lithospermum canescens is a smaller plant. It has smaller flowers and a shorter stature, while its cousin can get almost twice its height. Even its seeds are noticeably smaller. Additionally, Lithospermum canescens typically has oranger flowers, while Lithospermum caroliniense tends to have yellower flowers, but this is not a reliable way to tell them apart. Lithospermum canescens blooms earlier in the season, often in late spring, and it also has soft hairs on its leaves, which are somewhat shorter and more rounded; Lithospermum caroliniense on the other hand, blooms in mid summer, usually late June to mid July, and it has stiff hairs that can hurt to the touch rather than feel soft, and it is usually a much taller plant, with leaves that are rounded, but taper to more of point than Lithospermum canescens. See photo for comparison.

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