Plant of the Month ~~ JULY 2006
WOOLLY BLUE CURLS
- Common Name(s): Woolly Blue Curls
- Scientific Name: Trichostema lanatum
- Family: Lamiaceae, Mint family
- Plant Type: perennial
- Size: shrub, 2 to 5 feet high and 4 to 8 feet wide
- Common Habitat: chaparral or coastal sage scrub
One of my personal favorites, Woolly Blue Curls' floral display is both visually stunning and soft to the touch. Interesting-looking purple flowers form alternately on the ends of its stalks. Tiny white hairs cover the various parts of this plant and clearly contribute to its naming, including its scientific names: Trichostema means having hair-like stamens, and lanatum means woolly.
Woolly Blue Curls blooms from March to August. The color of the flowers ranges from deep purple, through blues and pinks to off-white. Look at the blooms close-up and you will see the variation in coloring in the different flower parts.
Hummingbirds and bumblebees feast on the pollen. The shiny, aromatic, narrow green leaves are a welcome sight in the browning landscape of Southern California summers.
Contributed by Liz Baumann
Curious what was featured in past Plants of the Month? Search the Archives.
References:Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains, by Milt McAuley
Flowering Plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California, by Nancy Dale
Roadside Plants of Southern California, by Thomas J. Belzer
California Native Plants for the Garden, by Carol Bornstein, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien
California Herbal Remedies, by LoLo Westrich