Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

BORAGINACEAE

BORAGE FAMILY

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.

SYMPHYTUM

COMFREY

Dieter H. Wilken and Ronald B. Kelley

Perennial; root thick, carrot-like
Stems ascending to erect
Leaves generally cauline; lower petioled; upper short-petioled to sessile; blade lanceolate to ovate
Inflorescence terminal or axillary, generally peduncled, coiled in flower
Flower: calyx deeply lobed, bristly; corolla bell-shaped to ± urn-shaped, throat appendages 5, ± = stamens, papillate, alternating with stamens; stamens inserted on upper tube; style exserted
Fruit: nutlets 1–4, ovoid; tip ± incurved, scar at base ± flat with thick, ring-like, minutely toothed rim
Species in genus: 35 species: Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: growing together, from putative healing properties)
Reference: [Gadella 1984 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 71:1061–1067]
Orn, folk medicine, cultivated for forage.

Introduced

S. asperum Lepech.


Stem 6–10 dm, branched, sparsely sharp-bristly
Leaf 5–15 cm, sparsely bristly
Flower: calyx 2–4 mm in flower, lobes generally linear-oblong in flower, triangular in fruit; corolla 10–15 mm, pink, turning deep blue or purple, throat appendages linear-lanceolate
Fruit: nutlets 3–4 mm, 2–2.5 mm wide, brown, fine-granular
Chromosomes: 2n=32
Ecology: Wet, open sites, ditches
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, n Outer North Coast Ranges, waif elsewhere (Sacramento Valley, Yolo Co.)
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, ne US, Europe; native to sw Asia
Weedy.

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