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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
Annual; hairs generally bristly, often bulbous-based. Stem: generally erect, 2–12 dm, generally green. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate, sessile or lower short-petioled, generally linear to narrow-lanceolate or -oblong, generally not succulent, ± entire. Inflorescence: spike-like cymes, generally ± terminal, tip coiled. Flower: generally radial; calyx lobes 5 or 2–4 (see key); corolla tube generally not constricted, generally orange or yellow (red-orange), appendages generally 0, throat generally open, glabrous, limb on large-flowered taxa generally with 5 dark spots. Fruit: nutlets erect, ± triangular, adaxially generally with exposed elliptic attachment scar, generally with rounded or sharp tubercles.Key to Amsinckia
14 species: western North America, southwestern South America, widely alien elsewhere. (W. Amsinck, patron of Hamburg Botanic Garden, 1752–1831) Self-compatible; often heterostylous; large-flowered taxa generally cross-pollinated, small-flowered self-pollinated.
Unabridged references: [Ray & Chisaki 1957 Amer J Bot 44:529–554; Suksdorf 1931 Werdenda 1:47–113; Kelley & Seiber 1992 Phytochemistry 31:2369–2387]
Flower: calyx lobes unequal in width, reduced to 2–4 from fusion below middle, notched at tip; corolla 8–16 mm, yellow or orange, tube 20-veined near base, limb 2–10 mm diam. Fruit: 2.5–4 mm, gray, dull, cobblestone-like or round-tubercled, ridged or not.
2n=24. Homostylous. [Online Interchange]
Flower: calyx generally ± white hairy; corolla 8–12 mm, limb 2–6 mm diam, yellow; anthers appressed to stigma.
Rocky or sandy soils; 50–2280 m. s Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges (n slope), Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert; to Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Baja California, South America. Feb–Jun [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Abundant most years forming dense colonies in Mojave Desert. The problematic occurrence of the distinctive Amsinckia tessellata var. elegans in the Carrizo Plain and western Antelope Valley (western Mojave Desert) areas may represent a hybrid entity ± combining the traits of both listed varieties. S ee Hoover (1970), see Vascular Plants SLO Co. for description and alternative viewpoint.
Previous taxon: Amsinckia tessellata var. gloriosa
Next taxon: Amsinckia vernicosa
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Mar 10 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Amsinckia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=77020, accessed on Mar 10 2014
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|Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata|
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© 2008 Keir Morse
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