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Common Blue-curls Trichostema dichotomum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
try-ko-STEM-uh dy-KAW-toh-mum
Description

Blue Curls are annual, native wild flowers that can be found in dry, open, sandy woodlands and around rock outcrops. Its native habitat runs from southern Maine south to Florida, west to Texas and north to Missouri and Michigan.

This plant has curled stamens that help make this plant showy. Its turn tan in the fall, making it a nice addition in dried arrangements. 

The flowers are in the form of a panicle of cymes, as well as several flowers at the tips of the branches.  Each cyme and each individual, single flower is enfolded by a pair of leaves.  As you ascend the cyme, the size of the flowers decrease.  Each cyme will contain three to seven flowers.  A healthy plant can produce hundreds of cymes, with resulting numerous seeds.  These seeds make the plant a self-seeder, which may cause a maintenance issue to keep the plant under control.  Opening in the early morning, the flowers will drop their petals and stamens by mid-day.  The lowest petal is somewhat cupped and may be shaded in white with some dark spots.   The other 4 petals are shorter, rounded and minimally pointed, and are typically all the same color.  

Insects, Disease, and Other Plant Problems:  No issues noted.  This self-seeding plant can require some effort to keep under control.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#fragrant flowers#herbaceous#NC native#native wildflower#wildflower garden#herbaceous annual#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#piedmont mountains UPL#coastal UPL#food source hard mast fruit#bee friendly#audubon#short lived blooms#salt spray intolerant#herbaceous wildflower
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#fragrant flowers#herbaceous#NC native#native wildflower#wildflower garden#herbaceous annual#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#piedmont mountains UPL#coastal UPL#food source hard mast fruit#bee friendly#audubon#short lived blooms#salt spray intolerant#herbaceous wildflower
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Trichostema
    Species:
    dichotomum
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    United States
    Distribution:
    Dry open woods and clearings.
    Wildlife Value:
    Native bees and beetles are attracted to this plant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are available September-December. The fruits appear after the flowers drop. Four green nutlets will be exposed. As they mature, they will turn a dark brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Deeply curved blue-stalked stamens. Each two-lipped flower has four lobes above and one larger lobe below. Flowers bloom August-November.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The hairy, toothless leaves are deeply veined on the upper side, creating a slight crease. They can be slightly sticky, however, when crushed give off a lemony scent.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are pubescent.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees