Fact Sheets


Buglossoides arvensis (L.) I. M. Johnst.

Family :

Famille :


Synonym(s) :

Synonyme(s) :

Lithospermum arvense

Common Name(s) :

Nom(s) commun(s) :

Corn gromwell

  • Corn gromwell (Buglossoides arvensis) nutlets

  • Corn gromwell (Buglossoides arvensis) nutlets

  • Corn gromwell (Buglossoides arvensis) nutlet

  • Corn gromwell (Buglossoides arvensis) nutlet

  • Corn gromwell (Buglossoides arvensis) nutlet

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Regulation :

Remarques Réglementation:

  • Quarantine lists of countries e.g. Mexico *may be updated without notice

Regulation Notes:

On quarantine lists of countries e.g. Mexico*.

*Quarantine lists of countries may be updated without notice.

Distribution :

Répartition :

This species is native to Africa, Asia and Europe. It has become widely naturalized across the world (USDA-ARS 2017), and widespread in the United States (USDA-NRCS 2017).

Habitat and Crop Association :

Habitat et Cultures Associées :

This species grows in fields, waste ground and in other disturbed habitats, favouring light, dry, calcareous soils (BRC 2017). Also found on hills, mountains slopes, and margins of cultivated ground (eFloras 2017).

Economic Use, cultivation area, and Weed Association :

Utilisation économique, zone de culture et association de mauvaises herbes :

Duration of Life Cycle :

Durée du cycle vital:


Dispersal Unit Type :

Type d’unité de dispersion :


General Information


Corn gromwell has declined in Britain substantially since the 1950s due to agricultural intensification. Seeds are often transported with grain (BRC 2017).


Buglossoides arvensis plant (Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org)



  • Nutlet


    • Nutlet length: 2.5 – 4.0 mm (average: 3.2 mm); width: 1.4 – 2.6 mm (average: 1.9 mm)


    • Teardrop-shaped nutlet; the narrow end is compressed, appears pinched

    Surface Texture

    • Nutlet surface has warty tubercles and pits or grooves
    • Nutlet has a pronounced ridge, especially at the narrow end


    • Nutlet is light grey to grey-brown; the point of attachment is brown or dark brown

    Other Features

    • The point of attachment is slightly concave
    • The rounded point of attachment of the nutlet is smoother with small granules and two tubercles

Identification Tips


Additional Botany Information


Similar Species


Similar species are based on a study of seed morphology of various species, and those with similar dispersal units are identified. The study is limited by physical specimen and literature availability at the time of examination, and possibly impacted by the subjectivity of the authors based on their knowledge and experience. Providing similar species information for seed identification is to make users aware of similarities that could possibly result in misidentification.

Echium vulgare (bluedweed)

Echium vulgare nutlets are a similar teardrop- shape with a tuberculate surface and a dull, brown point of attachment.

Echium vulgare nutlets are generally smaller (average length: 2.6 mm; average width: 1.7 mm), polygonal shaped, a darker brown colour and, with a flat point of attachment. The ridges are finer and the surface is less warty.

Lithospermum officinale (gromwell)

Lithospermum officinale nutlets are a similar size, teardrop shape, pale colour and a dull brown point of attachment.

Lithospermum officinale nutlets are not pinched at the narrow end, lack tubercles, are a white colour and have a flat point of attachment.

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Biological Records Centre (BRC). 2017. Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. Developed by the Botanical Society of the British Isles and the Biological Records Centre (BRC), http://www.brc.ac.uk/plantatlas/ Accessed March 28, 2017.

eFloras. 2017. Electronic Floras. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA., http://www.efloras.org Accessed August 25, 2017.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Secretariat. 2022. https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei Accessed via https://www.gbif.org/species/2925901 Accessed December 29, 2022.

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Services (USDA-ARS). 2017. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch Accessed April 25, 2017.

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). 2017. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC USA. https://plants.usda.gov/home Accessed April 25, 2017.

U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). 2022. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC USA. http://plants.usda.gov Accessed December 29, 2022.



Jennifer Neudorf, Angela Salzl, Ruojing Wang, Karen Castro, Katrina Entwistle

Canadian Food Inspection Agency