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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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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

Annual [perennial herb], bristly to rough-hairy. Stem: ascending to erect. Leaf: cauline, ± petioled, ovate to oblanceolate, entire. Inflorescence: cymes, terminal, 2–3-flowered; pedicels ± spreading to pendent in fruit. Flower: calyx deep-5-lobed; corolla rotate to bell-shaped, lobes spreading, throat appendages erect, glabrous; stamens exserted, filament base dilated, anthers adherent around style, separating in age. Fruit: nutlets ± erect, 4, stout, obovoid, irregularly tubercled, exposed stipe-like basal attachment scar, rim of attachment scar thickened.
4 species: southern Europe, northern Africa. (Latin: ancient name)

B. officinalis L.
Generally branching above; taprooted. Stem: 2–7 dm. Leaf: lower blades 8–20 cm, 3–8 cm wide. Flower: calyx lobes 8–10 mm, 10–15 mm in fruit, linear; corolla rotate, bright blue, limb 18–20 mm diam; anthers 5–8 mm, dark brown. Fruit: nutlets 5–7 mm, ± oblong.
2n=16. Open, disturbed sites; < 550 m. Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast; widespread United States; native to southern Europe. Ornamental, cultivated for bees (nectar source), potherb. Jun–Aug [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Borago, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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click for enlargement Borago officinalis
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2009 Neal Kramer

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Borago officinalis 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.