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Nawrot czerwonoblekitny Lithospermum purpurocaeruceum.jpg
Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Boraginoideae
Genus: Lithospermum
Type species
Lithospermum officinale

about 50-60, see text

Lithospermum is a genus of plants belonging to the family Boraginaceae. The genus is distributed nearly worldwide, but most are native to the Americas and the center of diversity is in the southwestern United States and Mexico.[1] Species are known generally as gromwells or stoneseeds.


There are about 50[2] to 60[3] species in the genus.

Some species, such as Lithospermum arvense, are sometimes classified in the genus Buglossoides, but that genus is subsumed into Lithospermum by works such as the Flora of China.[2] In addition, a 2009 molecular study showed that the genus Onosmodium should be included within Lithospermum.[1]

Species include:[2][4][5]


Lithospermum leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of certain Lepidoptera, such as the moth Ethmia pusiella which has been recorded on L. officinale.


The dried root of Lithospermum erythrorhizon is a Chinese herbal medicine with various antiviral and biological activities, including inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).[7][8] Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum is native to Japan, where it has been traditionally used to make a purple dye. In southwestern North America, a species of this genus was used as a contraceptive by the Shoshone Native American tribe.[9]


  1. ^ a b Cohen, J. I. and J. I. Davis. (2009). Nomenclatural changes in Lithospermum (Boraginaceae) and related taxa following a reassessment of phylogenetic relationships. Brittonia 61(2), 101-11.
  2. ^ a b c "Lithospermum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 132. 1753". Flora of China.
  3. ^ Cohen, J. I., (2012). Comparative floral development in Lithospermum (Boraginaceae) and implications for the evolution and development of heterostyly. American Journal of Botany 99(5), 797-805.
  4. ^ GRIN Species Records of Lithospermum. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  5. ^ Lithospermum. USDA PLANTS: North American species.
  6. ^ a b c d e Weigend, M., et al. (2010). Five new species of Lithospermum L.(Boraginaceae tribe Lithospermeae) in Andean South America: another radiation in the Amotape-Huancabamba zone. Taxon 59(4), 1161-79.
  7. ^ Chen, X., et al. (2003). Shikonin, a component of Chinese herbal medicine, inhibits chemokine receptor function and suppresses human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 47(9), 2810-16.
  8. ^ Gao, H., et al. (2011). Anti-adenovirus activities of shikonin, a component of Chinese herbal medicine in vitro. Biol Pharm Bull. 34(2) 197-202.
  9. ^ "Health - Contraceptive, Indian Style". Chatelaine. June 1964.

External links[edit]