Virginia Marbleseed Lithospermum virginianum LinnaeusEndangered (MD)  -  S1 (Highly state rare)    Synonyms: Onosmodium virginianum, Virginia False Gromwell, Wild Job's Tears.
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Tracheophyta   >   Class Magnoliopsida   >   Order Lamiales   >   Family Boraginaceae   >   Genus Lithospermum   


Virginia Marbleseed (also known as Virginia False Gromwell and Wild Job's Tears) is a perennial herb that had a known original range of much of the eastern United States, but it is now endangered in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York; extirpated in Pennsylvania; and historical in Rhode Island, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (2020). Brown and Brown (1984) considered this species infrequent in the Maryland Midland and Coastal Plain. It may now be only a historical plant in Maryland (Barrows, et al., 2013).

Where to find:

Virginia Marbleseed's habitat is dry sandy woods and open sands, and pinelands (Fernald, 1950).


A study by Barrows, et al. (2013) over two growing seasons at Great Falls Park and Chub Sandhill Natural Area, both in Virginia, yielded data "consistent with the hypothesis that L. virginianum requires animal pollination for maximum seed set." The insects they observed visiting the flowers included bumble bees, wasps, butterflies, and moths, and the specific flower visitors differed among the plant's locations.

There are 4 records in the project database.

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Virginia Marbleseed in Fairfax Co., Virginia (6/11/2013). Photo by Fritz Flohr Reynolds. (MBP list)

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