Trichostema setaceum

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Trichostema setaceum
Tric seta.jpg
Photo by Wayne Matchett,
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae ⁄ Labiatae
Genus: Trichostema
Species: T. setaceum
Binomial name
Trichostema setaceum
TRIC SETA dist.jpg
Natural range of Trichostema setaceum from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Narrowleaf bluecurls

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Trichostema dichotomum var. lineare (Walter) Pursh; Trichostema lineare Walter.[1]


"Pubescent annual or weak perennial herbs from tap roots, freely branched with opposite branches. Stems obscurely angled, usually stipitate-glandular, leafy. Leaves entire or toothed, rarely lobed, petiolate to essentially sessile. Inflorescence a panicle of paired, bracteate, helicoid cymes with a flower at the axis of each pair; bracts similar to the leaves, smaller. Calyx bilabiate, lower lip longer than the upper with 3 essentially equal teeth, upper with 2 similar teeth; corolla blue to violet, zygomorphic, 5-lobed, lowest lobe lip-like, 5-10 mm long, lateral triangular-ovate, 2-4 mm long, tube short. Stamens 4, ca. 2X as long as the corolla, curved between the lateral lobes and curled downward almost meeting the lip; stigma bilobed, style curled in same fashion as stamens. Mericarps brownish to olive or blackish, dull, obovoid."[2]

"Stems, at least the principle ones, uniformly retrorsely short-pubescent, with trichomes 0.1-0.2 mm long. Leaves elliptic-linear, 1.5-4 cm long, 1-5 mm wide, entire, tapered to short petioles or sessile. Mericarps obscurely reticulate, 1.6-1.8 mm long."[2]




In the Coastal Plain in Florida and Alabama, T. setaceum can be found in upland pine-hardwood forests, pinewoods, turkey oak-longleaf pine barrens, sand ridges, longleaf pine/scrub oak/wiregrass ridges, sandhill oak scrubs, and wiregrass-longleaf pine communities.[3] It is a ruderal species and can be found in cleared pine forests, turkey oak sand ridge clearings, and roadsides. Soil types include loamy sand and loamy soil.[3]

Associated species include Vaccinium stamineum, Warea, Agalinis, Liatris, and Dicerandra.[3]


This species has been observed to flower and fruit in September through November.[3][4]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity.[5]

Fire ecology

Populations of Trichostema setaceum have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[6]

Herbivory and toxicology

It seems to be a major plant food for bobwhites during the month of October.[7]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 897. Print.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Lisa Keppner, Ed Keppner, Loran C. Anderson, Robert K. Godfrey, L. H. Shinners, Cindi Stewart, - MacClendons, Robert L. Lazor, R. Kral, A. F. Clewell, Roy Jervis, C. Jackson, Gary R. Knight, Sidney McDaniel, Wilson Baker. States and Counties: Alabama: Baldwin. Florida: Bay, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Santa Rosa, Wakulla and Washington. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 19 MAY 2021
  5. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  6. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  7. McRae, W. A., J. L. Landers, et al. (1980). "Importance of habitat diversity in bobwhite management." Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 33: 127-135.