Lithospermum caroliniense

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Lithospermum caroliniense
FL 12062.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Lamiales
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Lithospermum
Species: L. caroliniense
Binomial name
Lithospermum caroliniense
Lith caro dist.jpg
Natural range of Lithospermum caroliniense from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Carolina puccoon, coastal plain puccoon

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Batschia caroliniensis Walter ex J.F. Gmelin; Lithospermum carolinense ssp. carolinense; L. carolinense var. carolinense[1]

Varieties: none[1]


"Annual or perennial, pubescent or hispid herbs. Leaves usually alternate. Cymes leafy-bracteate, some flowers heterostylic; fruiting pedicels mostly erect or ascending. Calyx cleft into narrow lobes; corolla yellow, yellow-orange, or white (to blue), tubular to funnelform or salverform, throat pubescent, crested or open, lobes spreading and imbricate; anthers included; gynobase flat or depressed. Mericaps 4 or fewer, smooth or wrinkled, with a broad basal attachment scar, the scar often surrounded by a sharp rim."[2]

"Plant 3-10 dm tall, arising from a strong-staining taproot; stems simple or branched, very leafy, hirsute. Cymes dense, leafy-bracteate, elongate at maturity and loosely flowered; flowers heterostylic, all subtended by a bract. Calyx 6-8 mm long at anthesis, 8-10 mm long at maturity; corolla orange-yellow, funnelform, 13-25 mm long; anthers in short-styled flowers at the top of the corolla tube and just below the appendages at the throat, style extending only to the middle of tube; anther in long-styled flowers near the middle of the corolla tube, the long style reaching to and beyond the top of the tube, the appendages weakly developed at the throat; corolla nectary 1-0lobed, villous at the base of tube; stigma terminal, minutely villosulous, bilobed. Mericaps white, smooth, often pitted, 3-3.5 mm long."[2]


This plant is a southeastern coastal plain endemic. It's found from southeastern South Carolina to Panhandle Florida, and west to Texas.[1]



In the Coastal Plain in Florida and Georgia, L. caroliniense has been found in pinewoods and sand dunes. In human-disturbed areas it has occurred in cut over secondary sandhill forest and along highways.[3] Associated species include Berlandiera pumila, Chrysopsis, Licania michauxii, Cnidoscolus stimulosus, Phlox pilosa, Rubus cuneifolius, and Solidago door.[3] Soils include sand and loamy sand.[3]


L. caroliniense flowers from April through June.[3][4]

Seed dispersal

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

Fire ecology

Populations of Lithospermum caroliniense have been known to persist through repeated annual burns.[6]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. 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. 882. Print.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Bill Anderson, Loran C. Anderson, Pam Anderson, R. Komarek, T. MacClendon, K. MacClendon, Sidney McDaniel, R. A. Norris. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Jackson, Liberty Georgia: Decatur, Dougherty. 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: 12 DEC 2016
  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. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.