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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.

 

BORAGINACEAE BORAGE or WATERLEAF FAMILY

Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley, except as noted


Annual to shrub, or non-green root parasite, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, simple or compound, generally alternate. Inflorescence: generally cymes, or panicle-, raceme-, head-, or spike-like, generally coiled in flower (often described as scorpioid), generally elongating in fruit, or flowers 1–2 per axil. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals (4)5(10), fused at least at base, or free; corolla (4)5(10)-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, appendages 0 or 5 at top of tube, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary superior, entire to 4-lobed, style 1(2), entire or 2-lobed or -branched. Fruit: valvate or circumscissile capsule or nutlets 1–4, free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
± 120 genera, ± 2300 species: tropics, temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Heliotropium, Echium, Myosotis, Nemophila, Phacelia, Symphytum). Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. [Olmstead et al. 2000 Molec Phylogen Evol 16:96–112] Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae. —Scientific Editors: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil.

Key to Boraginaceae

1. Plants non-green, parasitic ..... PHOLISMA

1' Plants green, non-parasitic

2. Ovary deeply (2)4-lobed, style base generally ± hidden within lobes; fruit 1–4 free nutlets

3. Nutlets spreading

4. Corolla blue to red-purple; nutlet ± spheric or disk-shaped, prickles barbed; biennial, perennial herb ..... CYNOGLOSSUM

4' Corolla white; nutlet generally compressed, prickles straight or hooked at tip, not barbed; annual

5. Calyx lobes in fruit unequal, upper 2 >> others, partly fused, arched over 1 nutlet, with 5–10 stout spines each with hooked bristles; nutlets 2 ..... HARPAGONELLA

5' Calyx lobes in fruit ± equal or, if unequal, upper 2 > others, free, not arched over 1 nutlet, without spines but with hooked or straight prickles; nutlets generally 4 ..... PECTOCARYA

3' Nutlets ± erect

6. Corolla rotate; anthers 5–8 mm, closely appressed to style, separating in age ..... BORAGO

6' Corolla salverform, funnel-shaped, or ± tubular (except Symphytum); anthers < 5 mm, generally not closely appressed to style

7. Flowers 1–2 per leaf axil; calyx lobes with 1–2 teeth in fruit ..... ASPERUGO

7' Flowers 1 per distal leaf axil or in 1–many dense to elongate cymes, variously arranged; calyx lobes without teeth in fruit

8. Nutlet scar ± flat to strong-convex, with thick rim

9. Corolla appendages ovate to oblong, generally distal to anthers; corolla throat ± expanded distal to tube or tube and throat not differentiated ..... ANCHUSA

9' Corolla appendages lance-linear to lanceolate, at same level as anthers; corolla throat expanded distal to tube ..... SYMPHYTUM

8' Nutlet scar flat, curved, or grooved, without thick rim

10. Receptacle ± flat; nutlet scar generally basal (except Mertensia)

11. Shrub, 1–3+ m ..... ECHIUM (2)

11' Annual, biennial, per

12. Corolla white to yellow

13. Corolla tube > lobes; inflorescence bracts throughout ..... LITHOSPERMUM

13' Corolla tube << lobes; inflorescence bracts at base or to middle ..... [Myosotis verna]

12' Corolla generally blue to purple (white to yellow)

14. Corolla ± bilateral ..... ECHIUM (2)

14' Corolla radial

15. Corolla often ± cylindric or bell-shaped, blue, generally pink in bud ..... MERTENSIA

15' Corolla salverform or wide-funnel-shaped, generally blue, white, or yellow ..... MYOSOTIS

10' Receptacle ± conic or elongate; nutlet scar generally lateral

16. Nutlet margin prickles generally barbed

17. Perennial herb (biennial); pedicel recurved to reflexed in fruit; receptacle ± 1/2 nutlet ..... HACKELIA

17' Annual; pedicel erect in fruit; receptacle ± = nutlet ..... LAPPULA

16' Nutlet margin prickles 0 or not barbed

18. Corolla tube, limb orange or yellow (red-orange)

19. Annual ..... AMSINCKIA

19' Perennial herb ..... Cryptantha confertiflora

18' Corolla tube, limb white to cream-yellow

20. Nutlet adaxially grooved distal to scar, scar raised or generally not ..... CRYPTANTHA

20' Nutlet adaxially keeled distal to scar; scar generally raised ..... PLAGIOBOTHRYS

2' Ovary entire or shallow-lobed, style base visible; fruit generally a capsule (4 initially fused nutlets in Heliotropium, Tiquilia)

21. shrub ..... ERIODICTYON

21' Annual, perennial herb, subshrub

22. Calyx lobes not alike, outer 3 cordate ..... TRICARDIA

22' Calyx lobes alike or not, not cordate

23. Calyx sinus appendages generally present (0 in Pholistoma membranaceum); annual

24. Ovary, fruit hairy, not bristly ..... NEMOPHILA

24' Ovary, fruit hairy, bristly ..... PHOLISTOMA

23' Calyx sinus appendages 0; annual, perennial herb, subshrub

25. Styles 2, clearly distinct throughout length

26. Plant 1–3 m ..... Eriodictyon parryi

26' Plant generally < 0.5 m

27. Annual ..... NAMA (2)

27' Perennial herb

28. Leaves entire; inflorescence not spheric, interrupted by leaf-like bracts ..... Eriodictyon lobbii

28' Leaves crenate-dentate; inflorescence spheric, not interrupted by leaf-like bracts ..... Nama rothrockii

25' Styles 0–1, 2-lobed or not, sometimes nearly to base

29. Leaves cauline, opposite ..... DRAPERIA

29' Leaves basal or, if cauline, at least some alternate

30. Ovary ± lobed; fruit nutlets

31. Style 0 or not lobed; stigma 1 ..... HELIOTROPIUM

31' Style deeply 2-lobed; stigmas 2 ..... TIQUILIA

30' Ovary not lobed; fruit a capsule

32. Annual

33. Herbage sticky; ovules on both sides of placenta; 1–2 seeds persistent in fruit ..... EUCRYPTA

33' Herbage generally not sticky (except Emmenanthe, some Phacelia species); ovules on 1 side of placenta; seeds not persistent in fruit

34. Stamens generally unequal, attached at different levels ..... NAMA (2)

34' Stamens generally equal, attached ± at same level

35. Flowers ± subspreading to pendent; corolla persistent, white, yellow, or pink, in age papery ..... EMMENANTHE

35' Flowers spreading to erect; corolla generally deciduous, blue to purple, occasionally persistent, yellow (purple), in age not papery ..... PHACELIA (2)

32' Perennial herb

36. Plant with fleshy-fibrous or tuber-like roots or base bulb-like; style ± 2-lobed;

37. Leaves compound to simple, deep-lobed, sinuses reaching midrib, stamens exserted; seeds 1–3 ..... HYDROPHYLLUM

37' Leaves simple, entire, toothed, or lobed, sinuses not reaching midrib; stamens included; seeds many ..... ROMANZOFFIA

36' Plant taprooted, base not bulb-like, tubers 0; style 2-lobed to -branched

38. Inflorescence many-flowered; leaves generally lobed to compound, sometimes entire ..... PHACELIA (2)

38' Inflorescence 1–several-flowered; leaves entire

39. Inflorescence 1-flowered; style tip 2-lobed; seeds many ..... HESPEROCHIRON

39' Inflorescence 1–several-flowered; style cleft ± to base; seeds 2–4 ..... HOWELLANTHUS

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