Lithospermum – Gromwell
Gromwells are annual to more often perennial herbs, mostly covered with flat, stiff, short hairs. The flowers are borne in modified, leafy-bracted clusters, or solitary in or near the upper leaf axils. The fruiting individual flower stalks are mostly erect or upward-curved. The calyx is deeply cleft. The corolla is yellow or yellowish, less often white, (or in some species outside our region blue or purple), mostly funnel-shaped or with a narrow tube, abruptly flaring into a spreading limb, with the fornices being present or absent. The anthers are not protruding or only partly protruding outside the other flower parts. The gynobase is flat or flattened from above. The nutlets are smooth to pitted or wrinkled, attached at the base, the large scar often being surrounded by a sharp rim, sometimes with only 1 nutlet maturing.
The genus consists of about 75 species of wide distribution worldwide, mostly in temperate or mountainous regions. The name comes from the Greek lithos, a stone, and sperma, seed, referring to the bony nutlets.
Guide to Identify Presented Species of Genus Lithospermum
L. incisum – Narrow-leaved Gromwell
Stems 5-30 cm tall, with flat, stiff, short hairs. Flowers bright yellow, 15-30 mm long, 1-1.5 cm wide, lobes with ragged edges. Leaves mostly on upper stem, 2-6 cm long and 2-6 mm wide. Dry, open plains and foothills.
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