Hoary Puccoon

Lithospermum canescens (Michx.) Lehm.

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Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
Boraginaceae (Borage Family)
State Protection
Not Listed
Not listed or protected by New York State.
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
Not Applicable - A state conservation status rank is not applicable because the species is not a suitable target for conservation activities (e.g., species is a hybrid, a domesticated species, not native to New York, an accidental or infrequent visitor outside of its normal range, a transient or migrant just passing through the state, or a species with only unconfirmed or doubtful reports).
Global Conservation Status Rank
Secure globally - Common in the world; widespread and abundant (but may be rare in some parts of its range).


State Ranking Justification

There are no verified occurrences. 6 historical occurrences, all old records of a showy plant that is hard to miss.

Conservation and Management



This taxon has not been observed in New York since the early 20th century. The only habitat information we have from historical records is note that one specimen was collected from "pine plains" (New York Natural Heritage Program 2011). Sandy prairie remnants; openings in oak and jack pine woodland; edges of woods, roads, and railroads (Voss 1996). Prairies and open, dry woods (Gleason and Cronquist 1991). Dry or sandy open woods, prairies, etc. (Fernald 1950).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Dwarf pine plains* (guide)
    A woodland community dominated by dwarf individuals of pitch pine and scrub oak that occurs on nearly level outwash sand and gravel plains in eastern Long Island. The soils are infertile, coarse textured sands that are excessively well-drained.
  • Pitch pine-oak-heath woodland* (guide)
    A pine barrens community that occurs on well-drained, infertile, sandy soils. The structure of this community is intermediate between a shrub-savanna and a woodland. Pitch pine and white oak are the most abundant trees.
  • Pitch pine-scrub oak barrens* (guide)
    A shrub-savanna community that occurs on well-drained, sandy soils that have developed on sand dunes, glacial till, and outwash plains.
  • Post oak-blackjack oak barrens* (guide)
    Open barrens on upper slopes and low ridges characterized by the presence of stunted individuals of post oak, scarlet oak, and blackjack oak. There is a sparse heath and grass ground cover growing in very dry, deep, exposed sand overlying a clay subsoil.
  • Successional northern sandplain grassland* (guide)
    A meadow community that occurs on open sandplains that have been cleared and plowed (for farming or development), and then abandoned. This community is usually dominated by low, dry turf of sedges and grasses less than 30 cm (12 inches) tall, and include patches of open sand and patches of soil covered with mosses and lichens.

* probable association but not confirmed.


New York State Distribution

Scattered from Albany to Buffalo.

Identification Comments

Best Time to See

Hoary Puccoon is most likely to be found in May or ear June when the bright yellow-orange flowers are present.

  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Hoary Puccoon flowering and fruiting in New York.


Hoary Puccoon
Lithospermum canescens (Michx.) Lehm.

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
        • Order Lamiales
          • Family Boraginaceae (Borage Family)

Additional Common Names

  • Indian-paint
  • Orange Puccoon
  • Puccoon

Additional Resources


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2024. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/, Albany, New York

Werier, David. 2017. Catalogue of the vascular plants of New York State. Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Society. Volume 27. The Torrey Botanical Society. The New York Botanical Society, Bronx, NY 10458. 542 pages.


About This Guide

Information for this guide was last updated on: August 10, 2011

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2024. Online Conservation Guide for Lithospermum canescens. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/hoary-puccoon/. Accessed June 23, 2024.