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

Hackelia diffusa (Lehm.) I.M. Johnst.
spreading stickseed (spreading hackelia)
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Thayne Tuason  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #76289)

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Distribution of Hackelia diffusa
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Hackelia diffusa var. diffusa

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a taproot; stems several or sometimes single, spreading stiff-hairy on lower half, more appressed, upswept, straight-hairy above, 20-70 cm tall.
Basal leaves well-developed, persistent, stalked, oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, 6-18 cm long and 8-25 mm wide; stem leaves ample, mostly unstalked and sometimes also clasping upward, lanceolate or lance-oblong to lance-elliptic, 5-12 cm long, 8-18 mm wide; stiff-hairy or appressed, coarsely straight-hairy, entire, alternate.
Inflorescence of several elongating, narrow clusters with leafy bracts at the base; petals white (rarely blue), fused at base into a short, narrow tube that spreads (7-12 mm wide) at top to 5 lobes, with 5 pimply, fuzzy, yellow bulges at the throat.
Nutlets 4, clustered together, with marginal, barb-tipped prickles distinct nearly to the base, facial prickles 8-30, much shorter than marginal ones.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands, shrublands and forest openings in the steppe and lower montane zones; rare in SC BC; S to WA and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Hackelia diffusa

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) 1444 1856 2394
Slope Gradient (%) 5 45 86
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
30 73 280
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 5
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: AT(1), ESSF(5), MS(3)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References