Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This native perennial plant is about ½-1½' tall, branching occasionally. It has a tendency to sprawl across the ground. The stems are covered with long white hairs. The leaves have sparse white hairs on their uppersides, ciliate hairs along their margins, and a white pubescence on their undersides. These characteristics give the plant a slightly hoary aspect, hence its name. The alternate leaves are about 1-2" long and ¼-¾" wide, with a prominent central vein, and absence of serration along the margins. They are oblong or oblanceolate, with rounded tips, and are sessile at the base. The flowers occur in showy clusters at the ends of major stems. They are bright yellow or yellowish orange, narrowly tubular, with 5 rounded lobes that flare abruptly outward. Each flower is about ½" across and has no noticeable floral scent. The blooming period occurs during late spring and lasts about a month. The root system consists of a central taproot.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Comments

The flowers are really bright and conspicuous, but remain on the plant for some time even after they turn brown. The word 'puccoon' means that this plant was once the source of a dye – a reddish color that was used by Amerindians for pottery, basketry, and personal ornament in various ceremonies. Return
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Hoary Puccoon occurs throughout Illinois, except in some SE areas of the state (see Distribution Map). This plant is found occasionally in high quality habitats, such as virgin prairie remnants, otherwise it is rare or absent. Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, hill prairies, Bur Oak savannas, sandy Black Oak savannas, and limestone glades. This is the most common Lithospermum sp. in Illinois.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Batschia canescens Michx.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Lithospermum canescens (Michx.) Lehm.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Hoary Puccoon occurs throughout Illinois, except in some SE areas of the state (see Distribution Map). This plant is found occasionally in high quality habitats, such as virgin prairie remnants, otherwise it is rare or absent. Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, hill prairies, Bur Oak savannas, sandy Black Oak savannas, and limestone glades. This is the most common Lithospermum sp. in Illinois.
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Hoary Puccoon in Illinois

Lithospermum canescens (Hoary Puccoon)
(Bees collect pollen or suck nectar; beetle activity is unspecified; other insects suck nectar; most observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Reed, Grundel & Pavlovic, Macior, and MacRae as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Bombini): Bombus fervida sn (Mc), Bombus fraternus sn, Bombus griseocallis sn (Mc), Bombus impatiens sn (Rb, Mc), Bombus pensylvanica sn fq; Anthophoridae (Anthophorini): Anthophora ursina sn fq; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Synhalonia belfragei sn, Synhalonia illinoensis sn, Synhalonia speciosa sn fq icp; Anthophoridae (Melectini): Melecta thoracica sn fq; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada obliterata sn, Nomada ovatus sn, Nomada superba superba sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia atriventris sn cp fq, Osmia cordata sn, Osmia distincta sn cp, Osmia illinoensis sn cp fq

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Lasioglossum pectoralis (Re), Lasioglossum pilosus (Re)

Flies
Bombyliidae: Bombylius atriceps sn, Bombylius major sn fq

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Chlosyne nycteis sn, Phyciodes tharos sn, Vanessa atalanta sn, Vanessa virginiensis sn; Lycaenidae: Lycaeides melissa samuelis sn (GP), Lycaena hyllus sn; Pieridae: Colias philodice sn fq, Pieris rapae sn; Papilionidae: Papilio marcellus sn fq, Papilio polyxenes asterias sn

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Erynnis baptisiae sn, Erynnis brizo sn, Erynnis icelus sn fq, Erynnis juvenalis sn, Erynnis martialis sn, Hesperia leonardus leonardus sn (Re), Pholisora catullus sn

Moths
Noctuidae: Anagrapha falcifera sn

Beetles
Buprestidae: Acmaeodera ornata (McR), Acmaeodera tubulus (McR)

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Faunal Associations

The flowers attract long-tongued bees, butterflies, and skippers primarily. Among the bees, are such visitors as bumblebees, Miner bees, Nomadine Cuckoo bees, and Mason bees. Some spring-season bee flies visit the flowers, including Bombylius major (Giant Bee Fly). Among the skippers, Erynnis spp. (Duskywings) and Pholisora catyllus (Common Sootywing) are attracted to the yellow flowers of this plant. There is little information available regarding Hoary Puccoon's relation to birds and mammals. Because the leaves are not known to be toxic, it seems likely that they are eaten by such animals as groundhogs and rabbits.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Lithospermum canescens

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lithospermum canescens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full-sun in mesic to dry conditions. The soil can contain significant amounts of loam, gravel, or sand. It has a reputation of being difficult to germinate from seed. Nonetheless, this puccoon is probably the easiest to grow in the average wildflower garden if transplants can be obtained.
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Wikipedia

Lithospermum canescens

Lithospermum canescens is a species of flowering plant known by the common name Hoary Puccoon. It is endemic to eastern North America. The plant has golden yellow flowers which bloom from April to May.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lithospermum canescens". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  2. ^ Carman, Jack B. (2001). Wildflowers of Tennessee. Highland Rim Press. p. 212. 
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