Lithospermum cobrense has yellow flowers that are larger than those of Lithospermum incisum and Lithospermum multiflorum. The basal leaves are longer than the midstem leaves, and the width of the corolla about equals its length. Lithospermum cobrense is found in upper elevation meadows.
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Allred 2012
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Biennial or short-lived perennial herb, 15-40 cm tall, from a taproot lacking purple dye; herbage hispid with appressed hairs. Leaves: Alternate on the stems and forming a distinct basal rosette; sessile; blades spatulate to narrowly lanceolate or linear, 2-5 cm long by 2 mm wide; basal leaves persistent through anthesis. Flowers: Yellow, in scorpioid cymes; calyx 5-lobed, 12 mm long; corolla pale yellow, funnelform, the tube about equaling calyx in length, the limb about 10 mm wide, corolla lobes entire. Fruits: Nutlets hard, bony, ovoid, smooth and shining. Ecology: Found on wooded slopes, especially pine-oak forests, from 5,000-9,000 ft (1524-2743 m); flowers June-August. Distribution: w TX to AZ; south to MEX Notes: This species is distinguished from other Lithospermum spp. by its corollas, which are short, wide and funnel-shaped, about as wide as they are long, and hairy on the inside (L. incisum has corollas much longer than they are wide, with tubes appearing elongate, 1-3 cm long; and L. multiflora has a smaller, narrower corolla with the lobes each about 2 mm long); and the obvious basal rosette of leaves which mostly persists into flowering (L. incisum has leaves down to the base of the stems but not always forming a distinct rosette, and L. multiflorum has no leaves near the base of the stems.) All 3 species show purple stains on herbarium sheets, though the formal description for L. cobrense claims its roots and crowns lack dye. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have many uses. Etymology: Lithospermum is from the Greek lithos, stone, and sperma, seed; cobrense is of uncertain origin but could refer to the copper-colored flowers. Editor: SBuckley, 2010, AHazelton 2016, AHazelton 2017