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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

SYMPHYTUM COMFREY
Perennial herb; root thick, carrot-like. Stem: ascending to erect, internodes winged or not, sharp-bristly. Leaf: generally cauline, sharp-bristly; lower petioled; upper short-petioled to sessile; blade lanceolate to ovate, base decurrent or not. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, generally peduncled, coiled. Flower: calyx deep-lobed, bristly, expanded in fruit; corolla bell- to ± urn-shaped, throat expanded above tube, appendages 5, alternate stamens, at same level at anthers, lance-linear to lanceolate [or not], papillate; stamens attached on upper tube; style exserted. Fruit: nutlets 1–4, ovoid; tip ± incurved; scar at base, ± flat with thick, ring-like, minute-toothed rim.
35 species: Eurasia. (Greek: growing together, from putative healing properties) Seeds, herbage TOXIC to humans, livestock from pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Ornamental, folk medicine, cultivated for forage.
Unabridged references: [Gadella 1984 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 71:1061–1067]

Key to Symphytum

S. officinale L. COMFREY
WAIF
Stem: 5–10 dm, branched to not. Leaf: 5–30 cm. Flower: calyx 3–6 mm, to 9 mm in fruit, lobes lanceolate, in fruit ± triangular; corolla 15–19 mm, generally red to purple, occasionally white. Fruit: nutlets 4–5 mm, ± 3 mm wide.
2n=24,40,48. Disturbed sites; < 1150 m. s High Cascade Range (Butte Co.); to Canada, eastern United States; native to Europe. May–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 18 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Symphytum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=45945, accessed on Apr 18 2014

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click for enlargement Symphytum officinale
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© 2002 Dean Wm. Taylor

Bioregions in which Symphytum officinale occurs 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.
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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.