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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 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, 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


Robert Patterson & Richard R. Halse

Perennial herb; roots fleshy-fibrous or tuber-like, from rhizomes. Stem: erect, fleshy. Leaf: simple, pinnate-lobed, or compound, basal or cauline, alternate; petiole widened, clasping; leaflets toothed or lobed, hairy, generally paler abaxially. Inflorescence: generally branched, generally head-like cymes; pedicels generally elongate, recurved in fruit or not. Flower: calyx bell-shaped, lobes linear to lanceolate, acute to obtuse, glabrous or hairy, generally ciliate; corolla lobed to middle, > calyx, bell-shaped, lobes hairy; stamens equal, exserted, filaments hairy; ovary chamber 1, style 1, exserted, stigmas 2, base persistent. Fruit: capsule, 3–5 mm, spheric; tip generally bristly, loosely enclosed by calyx. Seed: 1–4, oblong to spheric, brown, net-like.
8 species: North America. (Greek: water leaf) [Constance 1942 Amer Midl Naturalist 27:710–731]

Key to Hydrophyllum

H. tenuipes A. Heller
Rhizome long. Stem: 2–8 dm, with reflexed bristles. Leaf: 8–20 cm wide; petiole 5–30 cm; blade wide-ovate to round; leaflets generally 3–5, lobed, coarse-serrate to cut, lowest pair(s) generally smaller, distinct, terminal merged or not (or appearing 3-lobed). Inflorescence: well above ground, >= subtending leaves; peduncle 2–14 cm; pedicels 4–12 mm. Flower: calyx lobes 4–7 mm, < 9 mm in fruit; corolla 5–7 mm, lobes 3–4 mm, cream, ± green, purple, or blue; anthers 1–2 mm; style 9–14 mm. Seed: 1–3.
Moist, shaded, wooded slopes, streambanks; < 1500 m. North Coast, Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges; to Washington. May–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 18 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Hydrophyllum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 18 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Hydrophyllum tenuipes 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.