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Lithospermum californicum
CALIFORNIA STONESEED

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BORAGE or WATERLEAF FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub or small tree, or non-green root parasite, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, generally simple, generally alternate. Inflorescence: generally cymes, or panicle-, raceme-, head-, or spike-like, generally coiled in flower (often described as scorpioid), generally elongating in fruit, or flowers 1--2 per axil. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals (4)5(10), fused at least at base, or free; corolla (4)5(10)-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, generally without scales at tube base, with 0 or 5 appendages at tube top, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary generally superior, entire to 4-lobed, style 1(2), entire or 2-lobed or -branched. Fruit: valvate or circumscissile capsule or nutlets 1--4, free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
Genera In Family: +- 120 genera, +- 2300 species: tropics, temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Heliotropium, Echium, Myosotis, Nemophila, Phacelia, Symphytum, Wigandia). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae. Wigandia urens added, as naturalized.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil.
Genus: LithospermumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: STONESEED
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, hairy, taprooted, red root dye present or not. Stem: erect. Leaf: generally cauline, +- sessile, entire. Inflorescence: panicle-like cyme or flowers 1 in upper leaf axils; bracts throughout. Flower: calyx deep-5-lobed, enlarged in fruit, lobes equal; corolla 5-lobed, funnel-shaped or salverform, generally +- yellow (+- white), tube > lobes, appendages present or 0; style entire. Fruit: nutlets 1--4, 2.5--6+ mm, ovoid, plump, smooth to pitted or wrinkled, attachment scar basal.
Species In Genus: 75 species: worldwide, generally temperate, mountains. Etymology: (Greek: stone seed) Note: Heterostylous or not; cleistogamous flowers present or 0.

Lithospermum californicum A. Gray
NATIVE
Habit: Perennial herb; hairs spreading, +- coarse; caudex +- woody; red root dye 0. Stem: 1--several, 1.5--4 dm, clustered, +- branched. Leaf: +- few, scattered; blade 2.5--5 cm, oblong to lance-ovate. Inflorescence: open panicles +- few, or flowers 1 in upper leaf axils; pedicels 4--7 mm, recurved in fruit. Flower: corolla 12--18 mm, 1.5--2 × calyx, 7--9 mm diam, salverform to funnel-shaped, golden yellow, lobes entire, appendages 0. Fruit: nutlet 3.5--5 mm, wide-ovoid, abruptly short-tipped, smooth, shiny, white. Chromosomes: 2n=28.
Ecology: Open, dry slopes, yellow-pine forest, pine/oak woodland, chaparral; Elevation: 250--1900 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRH, NCoRI, CaR, n SNH; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun Note: Heterostylous; cleistogamous flowers 0.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley
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botanical illustration including Lithospermum californicum

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley 2016. Lithospermum californicum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=31253, accessed on July 28, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on July 28, 2016.


Lithospermum californicum
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Lithospermum californicum
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Lithospermum californicum in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Lithospermum californicum:
KR, NCoRH, NCoRI, CaR, n SNH;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.