Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum

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Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum
Boraginaceae - Buglossoides purpurocaerulea.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Lithospermum
L. purpurocaeruleum
Binomial name
Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum
  • Aegonychon purpurocaeruleum (L.) Holub
  • Buglossoides purpurocaeruleum (L.) I.M. Johnst.
  • Margarospermum purpurocaeruleum (L.) Opiz

Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum, the purple gromwell,[1] is a herbaceous perennial rhizomatous plant of the genus Lithospermum, belonging to the family Boraginaceae.


The Latin name of the species purpurocaeruleum means purple and blue, referred to the changing colour of the flowers with the progress of flowering.


Close-up on purple-reddish blooms and blue flowers

Lithospermum purpurocaerula is a bushy plant that reaches on average 20–60 centimetres (7.9–23.6 in) of height, with a maximum of 70 centimetres (28 in). The stem is hairy, erect and unbranched. Leaves are dark green and lanceolate to narrow elliptic, with a prominent midrib on the underside. Flowers are hermaphroditic, funnel-shaped, 15–20 millimetres (0.59–0.79 in) long and 10–15 millimetres (0.39–0.59 in) of diameter, clustered in a racemose inflorescence. The blossoms are purple-reddish, then the color of the flowers turns into a deep blue. The flowering period extends from April to June. The fruits are bright white capsules, 4–5 millimetres (0.16–0.20 in) long, with a glossy surface. They are very hard (hence the genus synonym Lithospermum, meaning "stone seed" for the hardness of these capsules).


This species is widespread in British Isles, in central Europe up to South Russia and in Mediterranean countries from Spain to the eastern Turkey.


These plants occur in dry and warm forests with sparse deciduous vegetation, in the meadows on the edge of the wood, in hedgerows and scrublands. They prefer calcareous soils rich in humus, at an altitude of 0–1,800 metres (0–5,906 ft) above sea level.


  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  • Pignatti S. - Flora d'Italia – Edagricole – 1982, Vol. II, pag. 398
  • Tutin, T.G. et al. - Flora Europaea, second edition - 1993

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