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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 small tree, or non-green root parasite, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, generally simple, 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, generally without scales at tube base, with 0 or 5 appendages at tube top, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary generally 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, Wigandia). 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. Wigandia urens added, as naturalized. —Scientific Editors: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil.

Key to Boraginaceae


Ronald B. Kelley & Fred R. Ganders

Annual; hairs generally bristly, often bulbous-based. Stem: generally erect, 2–12 dm, generally green. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate, sessile or lower short-petioled, generally linear to narrow-lanceolate or -oblong, generally not succulent, ± entire. Inflorescence: spike-like cymes, generally ± terminal, tip coiled. Flower: generally radial; calyx lobes 5 or 2–4 (see key); corolla tube generally not constricted, generally orange or yellow (red-orange), appendages generally 0, throat generally open, glabrous, limb on large-flowered taxa generally with 5 dark spots. Fruit: nutlets erect, ± triangular, adaxially generally with exposed elliptic attachment scar, generally with rounded or sharp tubercles.
14 species: western North America, southwestern South America, widely alien elsewhere. (W. Amsinck, patron of Hamburg Botanic Garden, 1752–1831) Self-compatible; often heterostylous; large-flowered taxa generally cross-pollinated, small-flowered self-pollinated.
Unabridged references: [Ray & Chisaki 1957 Amer J Bot 44:529–554; Suksdorf 1931 Werdenda 1:47–113; Kelley & Seiber 1992 Phytochemistry 31:2369–2387]

Key to Amsinckia

Stem: erect, slender. Flower: bilateral; calyx lobes 5, ± equal in width, not fused above base; corolla 7–10 mm, tube bent, 10-veined near base, limb 4–7 mm diam, orange, generally with 2 dark spots. Fruit: 2.5–4 mm, ± sharp-tubercled, occasionally ridged.
2n=8. Gravelly slopes, grassland, openings in woodland, often serpentine; (5)50–800 m. North Coast Ranges, sw Sacramento Valley, Central Coast (Marin, Santa Cruz cos.), San Francisco Bay Area. Heterostylous, if homostylous then corolla smaller, anthers in upper, lower groups. Mar–Jun [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}
Unabridged note: Collections and historical reports of Amsinckia lunaris occurring in San Joaquin Valley and adj Sierra Nevada Foothills are most likely heterostylous populations of Amsinckia eastwoodiae.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Amsinckia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015

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click for enlargement Amsinckia lunaris
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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Amsinckia lunaris Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.