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

Lithospermum ruderale Douglas ex Lehm.
lemonweed (Columbia gromwell; western stoneseed)
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #74744)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Lithospermum ruderale
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from a stout, woody taproot and branching stem-base; spreading stiff-hairy throughout but especially on the stem; stems 1 to several, clustered, more or less unbranched, 20-60 cm tall.
Numerous, all along the stem, lowermost reduced, others unstalked, lanceolate to linear, 3-10 cm long, 2-10 mm wide, entire, alternate.
Inflorescence of small clusters with leafy bracts, in the axils of upper leaves; flower stalks ascending in fruit; corollas pale yellow, often tinged with green, 8-13 mm long; petals fused at base into a 4-6-mm long tube that spreads (7-13 mm wide) to 5 entire lobes, the throat glandular within but lacking bulges.
Nutlets often 1-2, sometimes 4, clustered together, grey, smooth, shining, 3.5-6(8) mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands and shrublands in the steppe zone; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; E to SW SK and S to CO and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lithospermum ruderale

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) 170 841 1958
Slope Gradient (%) 0 26 360
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 193 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
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(248), BWBS(2), ESSF(24), ICH(5), IDF(613), MS(39), PP(299), SBPS(1), SBS(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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lithospermum pilosum Nutt.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References