Hoary PuccoonLithospermum canescens (Michx.) Lehm.
The common name of this prairie plant comes from the presence of tiny hairs that give it a whitish appearance. Indigenous peoples once used Hoary Puccoon as a source of reddish dye used for colouring pottery, baskets, and personal ornaments. The flowers have no noticeable scent, but do provide nectar for long-tongued butterflies and bees in the spring time.
Canadian Rarity Status:
Not rare. Listed as “sensitive” in Ontario.
This perennial plant has a stout taproot and grows to 40 cm tall. Its 5-9, erect, occasionally branched stems are covered in white hairs. The alternate leaves are bright green, hairy and oval-shaped with pointed tips. Flowers are small and tube-shaped, with five rounded lobes extending outwards. These occur in 1-3 dense, curving clusters, in which the endmost flower blooms first. Fruits are small yellowish-white nuts, each containing a single seed.
Narrow-leaved Puccoon (Lithospermum incisum Lehm.)
Seeds and/or plants may be available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Hoary Puccoon is difficult to germinate from seed, but may be easier from transplants.
- Mixed Grass Prairie
- Tall Grass Prairie
- Limestone Glades
- Open Woodlands
- Part Shade
- Bee Flies (Bombyliidae)
- Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)
- Bumble, Honey, and other Bees (Apidae (Subfamily Apinae))
- Cuckoo Bees (Apidae (Subfamily Nomadinae))
- Flower Flies (Syrphidae)
- Gossamer-winged Butterflies (Lycaenidae)
- Leafcutter and Mason Bees (Megachilidae)
- Owlet Moths (Noctuidae)
- Skippers (Hesperiidae)
- Sphinx and Hawk Moths (Sphingidae)
- Swallowtail Butterflies (Papilionidae)
- Sweat Bees, Halictid Bees and other Bees (Halictidae)
- Whites, Sulfurs, Orangtips, Marbles (Pieridae)