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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
Perennial herb, generally from taprooted, branched caudex; glabrous to spreading-hairy. Stem: ± erect. Leaf: cauline and generally basal, alternate, generally petioled, upper generally sessile. Inflorescence: generally panicle- or raceme-like cymes; bracts 0. Flower: calyx generally deep-lobed; corolla often ± cylindric or bell-shaped, blue, generally pink in bud, tube generally well developed, exceeding calyx, abruptly expanded at throat, with or without ring of inner hairs, appendages present or not; filaments often ± flat, generally attached ± below appendages, anthers included. Fruit: nutlets generally wrinkled, attached near or below middle.Key to Mertensia
± 50 species: North America, temperate Eurasia. (F.C. Mertens, German botanist, plant collector, 1764–1831) Hybrids common; identification sometimes difficult, especially in Modoc Plateau.
Unabridged references: [Williams 1937 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 24: 17–159; Milek 1988 Ph.D. Dissertation Univ of Northern Colorado; Strachan 1988 Ph.D. Dissertation Univ of Montana]
Plant 4–15 dm from thick branched thick-taprooted caudex, glabrous, occasionally glaucous. Stem: clustered, leafy. Leaf: basal generally > cauline; cauline with conspicuous lateral veins, lower petioled; blades lanceolate to ovate, acute. Inflorescence: panicle-like, open. Flower: calyx 1.5–4 mm; corolla 10–17 mm, limb generally 0.8–1.2(1.5) × tube, tube > calyx, generally without with ring of hairs inside, appendaged; filaments wide, generally > anthers; style exserted 2–5 mm.
2n=24,48. Streamsides, wet meadows, damp thickets, wet cliffs; 1310–3380 m. s High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau, White and Inyo Mountains; to western Nevada. Jun–Aug [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Mertensia ciliata var. ciliata (calyx 1–3 mm, style exserted 1–3 mm) western United States except California. Plants in High Cascade Range, Modoc Plateau need study.
Previous taxon: Mertensia bella
Next taxon: Mertensia cusickii
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 4 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Mertensia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=61894, accessed on May 4 2015
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|Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Mertensia ciliata var. stomatechoides|| 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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(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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