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Echium

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BORAGE or WATERLEAF FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub or small tree, or non-green root parasite, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, generally simple, 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, generally without scales at tube base, with 0 or 5 appendages at tube top, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary generally 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.
Genera In Family: +- 120 genera, +- 2300 species: tropics, temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Heliotropium, Echium, Myosotis, Nemophila, Phacelia, Symphytum, Wigandia). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae. Wigandia urens added, as naturalized.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil.

Echium
Habit: Annual, biennial, [perennial herb], shrub; strigose to bristly-hairy. Leaf: basal and cauline, linear to lanceolate, entire. Inflorescence: panicle-like cymes, terminal; branches 3--many, +- spike-like. Flower: radial to +- bilateral; calyx deep-lobed, often longer in fruit; corolla throat straight or +- curved, lobes equal or not; stamens 5, attached below mid-tube, included or exserted; style exserted. Fruit: nutlet erect, short, ovate, 3-angled, scar basal, flat.
Species In Genus: 40 species: southern Eurasia, Africa. Etymology: (Greek: viper, from nutlet shaped like viper's head) Note: Several entities cultivated for ornamental, especially on California coast, some potentially naturalized, some may be hybrids.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley
Jepson Online Interchange
Key to Echium

Previous taxon: Draperia systyla
Next taxon: Echium candicans

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley 2016. Echium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=10468, accessed on December 07, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on December 07, 2016.


Echium candicans
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Echium pininana
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© 2015 Neal Kramer
Echium pininana
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer
Echium candicans
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Echium pininana
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer
Echium pininana
click for enlargement
© 2015 Neal Kramer

More photos of Echium in CalPhotos