Lithospermum incisum (Narrow-leaf Puccoon)

Plant Info
Also known as: Narrowleaf Stoneseed, Fringed Puccoon, Yellow Puccoon, Narrow-leaf Gromwell
Family:Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:sun; dry sandy or rocky soil; prairies, savanna, rock outcrops
Bloom season:April - June
Plant height:4 to 16 inches tall
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: tubular Cluster type: flat Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Trumpet-shaped yellow flowers, ½ inch across, 5 lobes with ruffled or crinkled edges at the end of a slender, ¾ to 1¼ inch long tube. At the base of the tube are 5 narrowly triangular sepals, much shorter than the tube and densely covered in appressed hairs. Flowers are very short-stalked, crowded at the tip of the stem, with a small leafy bract at the base of the stalk. These showy flowers are mostly sterile. Later in the season, self-fertilizing, petal-less flowers (cleistogamous flowers) develop, which are mostly inconspicuous.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are narrowly lance-linear, 1 to 3 inches long and not more than ¼ inch wide, pointed at the tip, toothless, stalkless, and have a prominent central vein. Surfaces are covered in short, appressed hairs, the lower surface more densely so and pale gray-green. Stems are mostly erect and unbranched, and covered in short appressed hairs.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] Fruit is an egg-shaped nutlet, pitted across the surface, ripening to shiny white.


Narrow-leaf Puccoon is easily recognized by the frilly, yellow flowers and narrow leaves.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Vermillion Falls, Dakota County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Dakota and Washington counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Ann - Lebanon Hills Regional Park
on: 2011-05-30 15:11:46

Found May 31, 2011.

Posted by: Carol - SNA Grey Cloud Dunes, Cottage Grove, MN
on: 2013-06-11 09:11:09

6/8/13 Blooming plentiful in SNA Grey Cloud Dunes, Cottage Grove, MN. Thanks Monica for the educational hike!

Posted by: Jeffrey - Jordan, MN
on: 2014-05-27 13:22:04

Found growing alongside Mendoza Ave, Duck Lane

Posted by: Drew - Morris, MN
on: 2015-05-12 09:12:34

I saw several of these blooming in Morris, Minnesota at Pomme de Terre city park in mid-May.

Posted by: John - Todd County
on: 2015-05-13 13:35:50

These are absolutely beautiful! I love the frilly edges!

Posted by: Dawn - Rochester, Minnesota
on: 2015-05-23 20:11:28

One individual plant found today (May 23rd) at Indian Heights Park (a city park in Rochester). This may have appeared this year due to the park's ongoing restoration.

Posted by: Jean - Coon Rapids
on: 2015-05-24 15:24:04

Found a single plant at Coon RPids Dam Regional Park

Posted by: Shelby - McKnight Prairie, Carleton College
on: 2016-05-08 13:04:59

Found several of these (as well as L. canescens) blooming at McKnight. Beautiful lemon yellow.

Posted by: Chris - Menahga, MN
on: 2016-05-08 18:38:38

I'm not positive that my ID is accurate, but I'm fairly certain. I'm sure it's a Borage. It's growing densely on the side of a gravel road, but only in a small area. I know that some of the Borage family is fragrant, but I find no mention of this being fragrant. My sample is very fragrant.

Posted by: Philip - Pope County
on: 2017-05-16 20:40:22

I positively identified these in one of my pastures today. A huge patch of them are growing on a south facing rocky slope close to an area where we pick mayflowers. Absolutely beautiful.

Posted by: Nadine Thiel - Grant County
on: 2019-07-29 11:21:44

Growing roadside in northwestern Grant County.

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