Vinegar weed, a leafy shrub with many branches, grows on dry slopes and fields from Oregon to Baja California. It reaches heights of five feet.
A member of the mint family, vinegar weed ( Trichostema Lanceolatum) also is known as camphor weed because of its unpleasant odor, especially strong when its leaves are crushed. Early Californians made a liniment from it.
During the flowering season from August through October, vinegar weed is easy to recognize because of its many unusual-looking blue flowers covered with fuzzy, pink wool.
The pea-shaped flowers are small, about 1/2-inch long. They have five narrow petals and four stamens that project from between two additional upper petals. The blossoms have tubes bending upward near their bases.