Common Name: Woolly Bluecurls
Trichostema lanatum is an evergreen, much-branched, rounded shrub growing 50 - 150cm tall[
]. The foliage tends to be rather sticky, with a pleasant, sweet-sour smell[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and a food. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
Western N. America - western California, Baja California
Dry slopes; at elevations below 1,000 metres[
Trichostems lanatum is a xerophytic plant that is adapted to the dry, rainless summers and moist to wet winters of California’s Mediterranean climate[
]. It does not grow well in more humid climates[
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil.
The plant usually has a delicious, sour-pine taste and makes a lovely herb tea[
]. The flowering tops, especially, have a sweet aftertaste[
The leaves are sometimes used in marinades[
]. When crushed, they add a sweet-sour, tarragon-like flavour to sauces, salad dressings and pasta dishes[
The herb is a fast and effective stomachic, mildly emmenagogic, astringent, antiinflammatory and a diaphoretic[
]. A decoction of the leaves and flowers is used in the treatment of stomch ailments, inflamed lungs, and to promote sweating in the treatment of dry fevers[
]. It has a mildly stimulating effect upon menstrual flow and is used in order to help expel the afterbirth[
Seed - sow early to mid spring in containers in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings inoo individual pots and grow on until large enough to plant out. In Mediterranean type climates this can often be done in the autumn, otherwise grow the plants on in the greenhouse until late in the following spring, planting out after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, takien in early autumn and grown in a greenhouse[