Stems: branched, erect or ascending. Leaves: linear, sessile, acute. Flowers: of two kinds, in terminal leafy racemes; corolla of the earlier ones salver-form, bright yellow, five-lobed, the lobes erose-denticulate, the throat crested; later flowers much smaller and pale yellow, cleistog-amous, abundantly fertile, their pedicels recurved in fruit. Fruit: nutlets white, smooth, shining, ovoid, more or less pitted, keeled on the inner side.
The French call this Puccoon Plante aux Perles, because of the hard stony seeds that mature in the calyx, and which, though at first soft and green, gradually become hard, white, and shining. It is on account of these nutlets that the plant is named from the Greek lithos, "a stone," and sperm, "a seed." The flowers are a pretty lemon colour, the earlier ones being of a much deeper shade and larger in size than those which appear later in the summer. They grow in close leafy clusters, and have a long, salver-form, five-cleft corolla. The stems and leaves are quite downy. This Puccoon grows in small tufts or mats, from six to ten inches high, and is usually found on the dry open lands, where its "Leaves and branches, crossed and linked, Cling like children and embrace."
Lithospermum ruder ale, or Hairy Puccoon, has numerous soft-hairy, very leafy stems growing from a crown of thick roots. The leaves are narrow and tapering, and the yellow flowers are densely crowded in a leafy thyrsus. The narrow sepals are hairy, and the campanulate-funnel-form corolla is twice as long as the calyx, and silky outside. The white bony nutlets are ovate, pointed and polished. Both these Puccoons have a sweet smell.