E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lappula squarrosa (Retz.) Dumort.
bristly stickseed (common stickseed; European stickseed)
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #71249)

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Distribution of Lappula squarrosa
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot, short, straight, appressed-hairy (and sometimes curly- or spreading-hairy) throughout; stems usually branched, 10-80 cm tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate, to 10 cm long, often deciduous; stem leaves linear to narrowly oblong or oblanceolate, reduced upwards to the leafy, lanceolate bracts of the inflorescence, unstalked, entire, alternate.
Inflorescence of narrow, elongating clusters with bracts throughout; flower stalks ascending to erect when in fruit; petals blue (sometimes white), fused at base into a small tube that flares (2-4 mm wide) at top to 5 lobes, with 5 yellow bulges at throat; fruiting calyces 2.5-3 mm long, the lobes spreading
Nutlets 4, clustered together, egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long, with 2(-3) marginal rows of slender, barb-tipped prickles distinct to the base, those of the outer row usually shorter than those of the inner.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic grasslands, shrublands, forest openings and disturbed areas in the steppe and montane zones; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, less frequent northward; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lappula squarrosa

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 304 829 2113
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
60 183 315
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(35), BWBS(2), ESSF(1), ICH(1), IDF(25), MS(2), PP(7)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lappula echinata
Lappula erecta A. Nels.
Lappula fremontii (Torr.) Greene
Lappula lappula (L.) Karst.
Lappula myosotis
Lappula squarrosa var. erecta (A. Nels.) Dorn

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References