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Vascular Plants of California
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Anchusa officinalis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
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.
Genus: AnchusaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: ALKANET
Habit: [Annual] perennial herb (may flower 1st year); hairs bristly, bases bulbous or not. Stem: +- erect. Leaf: basal and cauline, petioled to sessile, clasping, lance-linear [oblong to oblanceolate], +- entire. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, generally spike-like cymes; tip coiled. Flower: corolla funnel-shaped to salverform, pale blue to violet, appendages 5, ovate to oblong, +- puberulent; stamens included to exserted. Fruit: nutlets 1--4, erect, +- ovoid, irregularly angled or wrinkled, exposed attachment scar basal or oblique, scar surrounded by thick rim.
Species In Genus: +- 35 species: Eurasia, Africa. Ornamental, cultivated for drugs, dyes. Etymology: (Greek: ancient name for alkanet) Note: Anchusa arvensis (L.) M. Bieb. occasionally in orchards.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley
Unabridged Reference: Greuter 1965 Candollea 20:192--210
Anchusa officinalis L.
Stem: 4--7 dm. Leaf: upper 5--10 mm wide. Flower: calyx 5--7 mm, 8--12 mm in fruit, lobes lanceolate; corolla radial, salverform, tube 5--10 mm, straight, limb 6--12 mm diam, violet to blue-violet, (dark blue), appendages +- white; stamens on upper tube, +- exserted. Fruit: nutlet base 2--3.5 mm wide, tip incurved, scar basal. Chromosomes: 2n=16.
Ecology: Roadsides; Elevation: 70--150 m. Bioregional Distribution: CaRF, ScV; Distribution Outside California: widespread United States; native to Europe. Flowering Time: May--Jul
Synonyms: Anchusa procera Link;
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald B. Kelley
Unabridged Reference: Greuter 1965 Candollea 20:192--210
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Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley 2012, Anchusa officinalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 18, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 18, 2018.

No expert verified images found for Anchusa officinalis.

Geographic subdivisions for Anchusa officinalis:
CaRF, ScV;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.