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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 sp. (Latin: rough, from hairs)
Annual, bristly, stout hairs curved to reflexed, base bulbous. Stem: prostrate to weakly decumbent, 3–8 dm, angled, branches many. Leaf: simple, ± cauline, opposite at base, alternate above, petioled to sessile above; blades 2–7 cm, oblanceolate to elliptic, scabrous. Inflorescence: flowers 1–2 per leaf axil; pedicels reflexed in fruit. Flower: calyx 5-lobed, 2–3 mm, in fruit expanded, compressed, 5–8 mm, 10–15 mm wide, papery, with 1–2 teeth per lobe, enclosing nutlets; corolla 2–3 mm, 2 mm diam, ± funnel-shaped, blue-violet; stamens included, anthers free, sessile. Fruit: nutlets ± erect, 2–4, 2–3 mm, compressed, ovate, dark, shiny, minute-tubercled, scar lateral.
2n=48. Disturbed areas; 1000–1500 m. Modoc Plateau; widespread United States; native to central and eastern Europe. Most collections historical. Apr–Jul [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Asperugo
Next taxon: Borago
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 20 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Asperugo, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=14486, accessed on Apr 20 2014
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© 2008 Trent M. Draper
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