Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council Plants Resource Page

Plant of the Month - Woolly Blue Curls


Woolly Blue Curls

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Plant Description

Common Name(s):Woolly Blue Curls
Scientific Name:Trichostema lanatum
Plant Type:Perennial
Size:shrub, 2 to 5 feet high
Habitat: chaparral, coastal sage scrub
Blooms:February to June

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

Additional References:
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

Other Similar Plants:
Vinegar Weed Trichostema lanceolatum
Crimson Pitcher Sage Salvia spathacea
Hedge Nettle Stachys bullata
White Sage Salvia apiana
Purple Sage Salvia leucophylla
Black Sage Salvia mellifera
Chia, Golden Chia Salvia columbariae
Pitcher Sage Lepechinia fragrans
White Hedge Nettle Stachys albens
Skull Caps Scutellaria tuberosa

Originally featured: July 2006
Last modified: October 14 2017 16:34:00.
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
Images Botanical Terms for Leaves