Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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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.

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. officinale L.


Stem 5–10 dm, simple to branched, sharp-bristly
Leaf 5–30 cm, bristly
Flower: calyx 3–6 mm in flower, lobes lanceolate in flower, ± triangular in fruit; corolla generally red to purple, throat appendages lanceolate
Fruit: nutlets 4–5 mm, ± 3 mm wide, black, shiny
Chromosomes: 2n=40
Ecology: Waste places, fields
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area, expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: to Canada, e US; native to Europe

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bioregional map for SYMPHYTUM%20officinale 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 Symphytum officinale
Retrieve dichotomous key for Symphytum
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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