Buglossoides arvensis (L.) Johnston - Corn Gromwell.


Lithospermum arvense L.

Systematic position.

Family Boraginaceae, genus Buglossoides.

Biological group.

This is an annual, sometimes wintering plant.

Morphology and biology.

Plant is 15-45 cm tall. Root thin. Stalk upright, branchy above, with decumbent, rigid-rough pubescence. Leaves are 1-4 cm long, 0.4-1 cm wide, oblong, lanceolate; lower leaves blunt, narrowed at base, petiolate, the other leaves sessile, with 1 median rib. Flowers nearly sessile, bluish or yellow, 4-6 mm long, located in axillae of the upper leaves; corolla albesent, less often bluish or yellow; its tube equal to flower-cup; fauces of corolla with 5 velvety longitudinal folds. Seeds are brownish, ovate, triquetrous, tuberculate-rugose. Maximum fecundity is 300 seeds. Three of 4 seeds usually fall and litter ground, and the one remaining seed litters grain during harvest. Temperature for germination is 3-5 to 18-20° C; sprouting at depths of 10-12 cm. Blossoms from April until June; produces fruit in June-July.


It is distributed throughout all of Western Europe, Asia Minor, Iran, eastward to The Himalayas, Central and East Asia. The European part of the territory of the former USSR except for Far North, Western and Eastern Siberia, Middle Asia.


It grows in fields and ruderal habitats, along roads, railways, in garbage places, frequently on steep slopes of river valleys, mainly on sandy soils.

Economic significance.

It is a ruderal-segetal weed. It is a common weed plant of winter cereals, less often in spring cereals, in kitchen gardens, orchards, vineyards. Control measures include: agronomical actions and chemical weeding.

Reference citations:

Fisyunov A.V. 1984. Weed control reference book. Moscow: Kolos. 254 p. (In Russian)
Maevskii, P.F. 1954. Flora of middle belt of the European part of the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: Selkhozgiz. 912 p. (In Russian)
Nikitin V.V. 1983. Weed plants in the flora of the USSR. Leningrad: Nauka. 454 p. (In Russian)
Shishkin, B.K., ed. 1957. Flora of the Leningrad Region. V. 2. Leningrad: Leningrad University. 240 p. (In Russian)

© Luneva N.N.


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