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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


Genevieve K. Walden, Robert Patterson, Laura M. Garrison & Debra R. Hansen

Annual to perennial herb, generally glandular-hairy, taprooted or from ± thick caudex. Leaf: generally cauline, generally alternate, simple to 2-pinnately compound, generally ± reduced upward. Inflorescence: cyme, generally dense, coiled, generally 1-sided; pedicels generally <= 5 mm, generally straight. Flower: sepals generally 5, generally fused at base, generally equal, generally ± alike, generally persistent, enlarging in fruit; corolla generally deciduous, at least some persistent and withering in fruit in some species, rotate to tubular or bell- or funnel-shaped, ± white, blue, purple, pink or yellow, tube and throat not always clearly differentiated, generally glabrous inside, scales of tube base 0 or free from or fused to filament bases, generally white, nectary gland on petal midvein generally 0, each petal with generally 0, sometimes 2–many translucent areas, 2 or 4 of which parallel; stamens generally attached at same level, generally equal, generally exserted, bases generally not wider, with 2 or generally 0 wings, filaments generally white, pollen generally tan; ovary chamber 1, sometimes appearing as 2 due to intrusion of the 2 placentas, placentas parietal, enlarging and meeting in fruit, style 2-lobed, generally hairy proximal to lobes, disk proximal to ovary generally inconspicuous. Fruit: capsule, oblong to spheric, generally rounded at base, generally beaked. Seed: 1–many (number sometimes due to ovule abortion), oblong to spheric, generally brown; abaxially generally pitted or cross-furrowed.
± 210 species: America; some cultivated for ornamental. (Greek: cluster, from dense inflorescence) Dermatitis caused by contact with hairs, especially glandular, of P. campanularia, P. crenulata, P. ixodes, P. minor, P. parryi, P. pedicellata (Reynolds et al. 1986 Contact Dermatitis 14:39–44). [Hansen et al. 2009 Syst Bot 34:737–746; Walden & Patterson 2012 Madroño 59:211–222] Some California per species intergrade, hybridize, difficult to distinguish. Phacelia ixodes Kellogg, included in TJM (1993), not known from California. Since TJM2, Phacelia dalesiana J.T. Howell transferred to Howellanthus as Howellanthus dalesianus (J.T. Howell) Walden & R. Patt. Regarding indument in this treatment: minute (for e.g., puberulent) < 0.2 mm; short = 0.2–2 mm; long > 2 mm.
Unabridged references: [Gilbert et al. 2005 Syst Bot 30:627–634; Reynolds et al. 1986 Contact Dermatitis 14:39–44; Reynolds & Rodriguez 1979 Phytochemistry 18:1567–1568; Reynolds & Rodriguez 1981a Phytochemistry 20:1365–1366; Reynolds & Rodriguez 1981b Planta Medica 43:187–193; Reynolds & Rodriguez 1986 Phytochemistry 25:1617–1619.]

Key to Phacelia

P. hastata Lehm. (Group 1)
Perennial herb 5–50 cm. Stem: not glandular (sparsely glandular distally). Leaf: mostly basal; blade 15–120 mm, <= petiole, lanceolate to widely elliptic, generally entire (or 2–4-lobed or compound with 3–5 leaflets), veins of basal leaves prominent. Flower: calyx lobes 3–7 mm, 5–9 mm in fruit, linear to lanceolate; corolla 4–7 mm, urn- to bell-shaped, white or lavender, scales fused to filament bases, oblong; stamens 6–10 mm, glabrous or hairy; style 7–10 mm, cleft 1/2, glabrous. Fruit: 2–4 mm, ovoid, stiff-hairy. Seed: 1–3, 1.5–2.5 mm, pitted in ± longitudinal rows. Varieties intergrade. [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: 1 other var., Phacelia hastata Douglas ex Lehm. var. charlestonensis Cronquist, in Nevada. Expanded author citation: Phacelia hastata Douglas ex Lehm.

P. hastata var. hastata
Stem: ascending to ± erect, 20–50 cm, hairs mostly ± appressed, some stiff, spreading, stem generally not glandular. Flower: calyx lobes generally not glandular.
n=11,22. Sandy to rocky slopes, scrub, conifer forest; 380–3100 m. Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains, Great Basin Floristic Province; to western Canada, South Dakota, Colorado. [Phacelia hastata subsp. hastata; Phacelia oreopola subsp. simulans Heckard; Phacelia alpina Rydb.; Phacelia biennis A. Nelson; Phacelia burkei Rydb.; Phacelia canescens Nutt.; Phacelia leucophylla Torr.; Phacelia nervosa Rydb.; Phacelia circinata Jacq. var. integrifolia Kuntze; Phacelia hastata var. alpina (Rydb.) Cronquist; Phacelia hastata var. leucophylla (Torr.) Cronquist; Phacelia heterophylla Pursh var. alpina A. Nelson; Phacelia leucophylla Torr. var. alpina Dundas; Phacelia leucophylla Torr. var. suksdorfii J.F. Macbr.; Phacelia magellanica (Lam.) Coville var. integrifolia (Kuntze) Kuntze; Phacelia sericea (Graham) A. Gray var. biennis Brand] May–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Phacelia, Revision 1, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Phacelia hastata var. hastata 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.