Kearney and Peebles 1969, Welsh et al. 1993, Allred 2012, MacDougall 1973, Heil et al. 2013
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb, 30-60 cm tall, from thick woody roots charged with purple dye; stems several, branching from the base as well as above, the older stems woody and persisting; herbage green and strigose. Leaves: Alternate and sessile; blades linear to lanceolate, 2-6 cm long, with a midvein that is prominent beneath and indented above; leaf surface covered with long, appressed hairs; longest leaves are midway up the stem, with basal leaves reduced to scales and upper leaves reduced to bracts near the inflorescences. Flowers: Yellow to orange and trumpet-shaped, in short-pedicelled racemes near branch tips; calyx 5-lobed, 4-6 mm long; corolla yellow or orange-yellow, funnelform with 5 lobes, the tube 8-13 mm, strigose on the outside, and the lobes short and rounded, 2 mm long; flowers heterostylous. Fruits: Nutlets 3 mm long, white and shining; often only one per calyx matures. Ecology: Found on gravelly and litter covered soils, in sagebrush flats, pinyon-juniper woodlands, pine woodlands and forests, and aspen communities, from 6,000-9,500 ft (1829-2896 m); flowers May-September. Distribution: CO and UT south to TX, NM, and AZ; south to MEX Notes: This species is distinguished from other Lithospermum spp. by its corollas, which are hairy on the outside, small, and narrow, with the lobes each about 2 mm long (L. cobrense has short, wide, funnel-shaped corollas, about as wide as they are long and hairy on the inside, and L. incisum has corollas much longer than they are wide, with tubes appearing elongate, 1-3 cm long, also hairy on the outside); and the lack of leaves near the base of the stems (L. cobrense has an obvious basal rosette of leaves which mostly persists into flowering, and L. incisum has leaves down to the base of the stems though not always forming a distinct rosette). All 3 species show purple stains on herbarium sheets, though the formal description for L. cobrense claims its roots and crowns lack dye. Ethnobotany: The root was used ceremonially, and the seeds were used as food. Editor: LCrumbacher, 2011, AHazelton 2017 Etymology: Lithospermum comes from the Greek lithos, "stone," and sperma, "seed," while multiflorum means many-flowered.