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Trichostema lanceolatum
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Trichostema lanceolatum

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About Vinegarweed (Trichostema lanceolatum) The annual herb of the mint family Trichostema lanceolatum is commonly known as vinegar weed because its foliage contains volatile oils that have a strong vinegar odor. Other common names for the plant include terpentine weed and camphor weed. The oils also have phytotoxic properties, which help vinegar weed compete by killing or injuring other plant species. Indians of northern California used the plant as a cold and fever remedy, a pain reliever, and a flea repellent. Vinegar weed is a wildflower bearing striking purple-blue flowers on short green stems. The numerous leaves are juicy and green and are covered in fluffy hairs. The plant is well adapted to its native range in California, where it thrives in dry, nutrient-poor, sun-baked clay soil. In hot weather the vinegar smell of the plant becomes intense as the oils in the tissues permeate the air. The plants of this genus are sometimes called blue curls, but this name may be more associated with the similar, but sweeter smelling, species Trichostema lanatum. Vinegar weed is found on the west coast of North America from northern Mexico to southern Canada.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
3.3 ft (1 m)

Flower Color
Green, Purple, Blue

Native Status

Natural Setting

Elevation ?
15' - 6498'

Annual Precip. ?
5.8" - 117.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.12" - 3.43"

Coldest Month ?
35.4° F - 57.2° F

Hottest Month ?
56.1° F - 80.6° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 29.14 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
7*, 8*, 9*, 10, 14*, 15*, 17, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Landscaping Information
Common uses
Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Terpentine Weed, For The Plant, Camphor Weed

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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