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Borago officinalis

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.
Genus: BoragoView Description 

Common Name: BORAGE
Habit: Annual [perennial herb], bristly to rough-hairy. Stem: ascending to erect. Leaf: cauline, +- petioled, ovate to oblanceolate, entire. Inflorescence: cymes, terminal, 2--3-flowered; pedicels +- spreading to pendent in fruit. Flower: calyx deep-5-lobed; corolla rotate to bell-shaped, lobes spreading, throat appendages erect, glabrous; stamens exserted, filament base dilated, anthers adherent around style, separating in age. Fruit: nutlets +- erect, 4, stout, obovoid, irregularly tubercled, exposed stipe-like basal attachment scar, rim of attachment scar thickened.
Species In Genus: 4 species: southern Europe, northern Africa. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)

Borago officinalis L.
NATURALIZED
Habit: Generally branching above; taprooted. Stem: 2--7 dm. Leaf: lower blades 8--20 cm, 3--8 cm wide. Flower: calyx lobes 8--10 mm, 10--15 mm in fruit, linear; corolla rotate, bright blue, limb 18--20 mm diam; anthers 5--8 mm, dark brown. Fruit: nutlets 5--7 mm, +- oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=16.
Ecology: Open, disturbed sites; Elevation: < 550 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo, SnFrB, SCo; Distribution Outside California: widespread United States; native to southern Europe. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: Ornamental, cultivated for bees (nectar source), potherb.
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
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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. Borago officinalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=15875, accessed on February 11, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on February 11, 2016.


Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Borago officinalis in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Borago officinalis:
CCo, SnFrB, SCo;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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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.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.