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 when ripe.
Field Gromwell (Buglossoides arvensis, formerly Lithospermum) has been recorded from VC55 in the past; it has whitish flowers, nutlets which are minutely tuberculate and pale brown when ripe; the leaves have no lateral veins apparent on underside.
Small yellowish/greenish-white flowers; nutlets white, smooth and shining when ripe (They may be darker when immature - ST, pers.comm. Geoffrey Hall)
Photograph of whole plant
Common Gromwell grows on limey soils in grassland, hedgerows and the edges of woods, and on rocky ground, scree and quarries.
Flowers May to August.
Mainly in southern Britain and parts of East Anglia scattered elsewhere and possibly decreasing.
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. It is known from several sites in Rutland.
In the current checklist, (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as Native; now scarce and confined to the Oolite.
It is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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