Syn.: Batschia linearifolia (Goldie) Small, Lithospermum angustifolium Michx., Lithospermum linearifolium Goldie, Lithospermum mandanense Spreng.
Family: Boraginaceae Juss.
Lithospermum incisum
Distribution: North American species found in the central part of the continent from southern part of Canada from British Columbia to Ontario and as far south as Coahuila in northern Mexico. Absent on the coasts of the continent.
Ecology: Dry grasslands, prairie, shrubby slopes of mountain ridges up to elevation of 2100 m. Blooms from May ‘till July.
Lithospermum incisum
Description: Perennial herb, stem 5–30 cm tall, rising or erect; leaves are alternate, sessile, narrowly lanceolate, 2–6 cm long and 2–6 mm wide, smooth-edged, hairy. Inflorescence is spike-like scorpioid cyme; flowers bright yellow, funnel-shaped, 1–3(–4) cm long, 20 mm across, pentamerous. Fruit is white nutlet, 3–4 mm long, 4 nutlets per flower.
Threat and protection: Indiana lists this species as endangered and in Michigan it is thought to be extirpated.
Use: Native tribes used this plant in traditional medicine.
Note: This species produces 2 types of flowers: large showy flowers that appear early in the season are often sterile. The majority of the nutlets are produced from small, inconspicuous flowers that appear late in summer.
Lithospermum incisum
Lithospermum incisum
Lithospermum incisum
These images were taken in Canada, Alberta, Calgary and British Columbia, Fairmont Hot Springs (2013).