FIELD GROMWELL

CORN GROMWELL

Buglossoides arvensis

(Formerly: Lithospermum arvense)
Family [Boraginaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

17th Sept 2005, unknown place Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The sepal teeth are very long, reaching almost beyond younger inflorescences. Leaves are linear to lanceolate. It is only distinguishable from Common Gromwell (Lithospermum officinale) by the absence of visible lateral veins on the lowerside of the leaves (there is indeed a central vein).


17th Sept 2005, unknown place Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The flowers occur solitarily in the leaf axis and have 5 rounded, white petals.


17th Sept 2005, unknown place Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
A hairy plant growing to 50cm, up to 80cm max, high. The petals are at the top of a quite long rear tube which is yellowish-cream.


17th Sept 2005, unknown place Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


17th Sept 2005, unknown place Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
There is a hole in the centre of the flower - the top part of the rear linear tube. The white petals have a raised midrib near the centre as they merge with that tube.


17th Sept 2005, unknown place Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The corolla is 5 to 9mm across (and only rarely bluish rather than white).


17th Sept 2005, unknown place Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
Nestling within 4 long sepals are 4 angular, pointed fruits (nutlets). These nutlets also differ from those of Common Gromwell (Lithospermum officinale) by the knobbly appearance of the nutlets (smooth on Common Gromwell.


17th Sept 2005, unknown place Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
An ant walks off with one of the fruits (greyish-brown warty nutlets) for purposes unknown. Will they eat them?


Easily confused with : Oliver Gromwell (a politician of old) ;-)

Field Gromwell reportedly contains the naphthoquinone derivative Shikonin, plus the Cyclitol Scyllitol, and a cyanoglycoside-lithospermicide. (but will chemists now rename this as a 'cyanoglycoside-buglossoidespermicide'?- your Author thinks not!)

Shikonin is an enantiomer of Alkannin (the latter of which is not found in Field Gromwell but rather in the roots of Anchusa). It is coloured red and is used in lipstick.


  Buglossoides arvensis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒   

Distribution

 BSBI maps
genus8Buglossoides
Buglossoides
(Field Gromwell)

FIELD GROMWELL

CORN GROMWELL

Buglossoides arvensis

(Formerly: Lithospermum arvense)
Family [Boraginaceae]