Random Plant: Narrowleaf stoneseed

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Narrowleaf stoneseed (Lithospermum incisum, Boraginaceae) photographed 04/13/2014 at Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Blooming throughout the spring, narrowleaf stoneseed (Lithospermum incisum, Boraginaceae) produces some impressive yellow flowers. Although the petals are less than an inch (2.5 cm) across, their long and slender structures can exceed an inch and a half (4 cm) in length. The trumpet-shaped flowers are also notable for having conspicuously wrinkled margins. These showy blossoms are pollinated by insects, but narrowleaf stoneseed also produces closed, self-pollinating flowers late in the season. This reproductive strategy may have evolved as insurance against unreliable or insufficient pollinators.

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Narrowleaf stoneseed (Lithospermum incisum, Boraginaceae) photographed 04/13/2014 at Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

The common name “stoneseed” refers to the hard nutlets that develop after the flowers are pollinated. This plant goes by a number of other common names, including puccoon, narrowleaf puccoon, fringed puccoon, narrowleaf gromwell, and fringed gromwell. It can be found throughout central North America where it thrives in a variety of dry environments from prairies to canyonlands.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, National Parks, Random Plant and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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