Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.



Annual, perennial herb, shrubs, generally bristly or sharply hairy
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves cauline, often with basal rosette, generally simple, alternate; lower sometimes opposite, entire
Inflorescence: cyme, generally elongate, panicle-, raceme- or spike-like, coiled in flower, generally uncoiled in fruit or flowers 1–2 per axil
Flowers generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 5, free or fused in lower half; corolla 5-lobed, generally salverform, top of tube generally appendaged, appendages 5, alternating with stamens, sometimes arching over tube; stamens 5, epipetalous; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed, style generally entire
Fruit: nutlets 1–4, smooth to variously roughened, sometimes prickly or bristled
Genera in family: ± 100 genera, ± 2000 species: tropical, temp, especially w North America, Medit; some cultivated (Borago, Echium, Myosotis, Symphytum ). Almost all genera may be TOXIC from alkaloids or accumulated nitrates
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae [Olmsted et al. 2000 Mol Phylog Evol 16:96–112]
Family description, key to genera by Timothy C. Messick.


Dieter H. Wilken

Annual, perennial herb, bristly to rough-hairy
Stems erect
Leaves cauline, ± petioled; blade ovate to oblanceolate, entire
Inflorescence: cymes, terminal, 2–3-flowered; pedicels ± spreading to pendent
Flower: calyx deeply lobed; corolla rotate to bell-shaped, lobes widely spreading, throat appendages erect, glabrous; stamens strongly exserted, together conic in outline, filament base dilated, anthers adherent, enclosing style
Fruit: nutlets erect, stout, obovoid, irregulary tubercled, rim of scar thickened
Species in genus: 3 species: Eur
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name of unknown origin)


B. officinalis L.

Annual, generally branching above
Stem ascending to erect, 2–7 dm
Leaves: lower blades 8–20 cm, 3–8 cm wide
Flower: calyx lobes 8–10 mm in flower, linear; corolla rotate, bright blue, lobes 8–12 mm; anthers 5–8 mm, dark brown
Fruit: nutlets 5–7 mm, ± oblong
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Open, often disturbed sites
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, n&c Sierra Nevada Foothills, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast
Distribution outside California: widespread US; native to s Europe
Orn, cultivated for bees (nectar source), potherb.

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bioregional map for BORAGO%20officinalis being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Borago officinalis
Retrieve dichotomous key for Borago
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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