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Because Hoary Puccoon (Lithospermum canescens) begins to bloom during the spring when other ground vegetation is relatively low, the brightly colored flowers can be seen from a distance. The word 'puccoon' means that this plant was the source of a dye at one time – a reddish color that was used by Amerindians for pottery, basketry, and personal ornament in various ceremonies. Hoary Puccoon is one of three native puccoon species (Lithospermum spp.) in Illinois that have flowers with bright yellow or yellow-orange corollas. Unlike Fringed Puccoon (Lithospermum incisum), the corolla lobes of Hoary Puccoon are smooth, rather than fringed, and it has wider leaves (exceeding ¼" across). Compared to Hairy Puccoon (Lithospermum croceum), Hoary Puccoon is a smaller plant with smaller flowers – it also blooms earlier in the year. Unlike the preceding two species, the corollas of Hoary Puccoon are sometimes yellow-orange, rather than yellow. Return


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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