Common Gromwell - Lithospermum officinale


    It is a native, roughly hairy, stiffish, branched, perennial herb growing up to 1 metre. Flowers are on leafy spikes, 3-6 mm across and ranging in colour from yellow-cream to greenish-white. Leaves are lanceolate (sometimes ovate), up to 7 cm long, with strong lateral veins. Fruits are hard, shiny white nutlets.

    Identification difficulty

    Common Gromwell grows on limey soils in grassland, hedgerows and the edges of woods, and on rocky ground, scree and quarries.

    When to see it

    Flowers May to August.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Mainly in southern Britain and parts of East Anglia scattered elsewhere and possibly decreasing.

    VC55 Status

    Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in only 1 of the 617 tetrads. The Leire find is the first Leicestershire record since 1983.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map