Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from 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.



Ronald B. Kelley

Perennial, biennial, ± hairy, taprooted
Stem erect
Leaves entire; basal petioled; cauline petioled or not
Inflorescence: panicle, ± terminal, bracted or not
Flower radial; calyx ± deeply 5-lobed, enlarging in fruit; corolla 5-lobed, funnel-shaped or salverform, appendages large; style entire
Fruit: nutlets generally 4, subspheric, covered with short, barbed prickles
Species in genus: 80 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: dog tongue)


C. officinale L.

Stem 1, 3–12 dm, ± soft-hairy
Leaves soft-hairy; basal petioles 4–10 cm, unwinged; blades 8–20 cm, oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, bases tapered; cauline many, sessile
Inflorescence ± overlapping leaves; bracts ± leaf-like; pedicels 5–12 mm
Flower: corolla 3–5 mm, 4–9 mm wide, ± salverform, dull reddish purple, sometimes drying bluish, appendages purple
Fruit: nutlets descending-spreading, outer surfaces flat, margins raised
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Ecology: Disturbed places
Elevation: 850–1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: High Cascade Range (se Siskiyou, adjacent Shasta cos.)
Distribution outside California: native to Eurasia
TOXIC to cattle (no reports from CA).

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bioregional map for CYNOGLOSSUM%20officinale being generated

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