The New International Encyclopædia/Gromwell

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GROMWELL (earlier grommel, grummel, from OF. gremil, Fr. grémil, grummel), Lithospermum. A genus of plants of the natural order Boraginaceæ. Its members have a funnel-shaped corolla, which conceals the shorter stamens, and achenia of stony hardness. Extraordinary virtues were formerly ascribed to them, which, however, were wholly imaginary, particularly to the common gromwell (Lithospermum officinale), which was used to cure stone in the bladder. The common gromwell is a native of dry, gravelly places in Europe, Asia, and North America. It has an erect, much-branched stem, broadly lanceolate leaves, and small flowers. There are about forty species of Lithospermum, which occur throughout the temperate zones of the world. In the United States there are eight or ten species. Some have perennial roots that yield a red dye similar to alkanet.