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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Bryan Kelly-McArthur     (Photo ID #74744)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Lithospermum ruderale
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


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)
841 170 1958
Slope Gradient (%)
26 0 360

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

193 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Lithospermum pilosum Nutt.