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Vascular Plants of California
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Nemophila heterophylla

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: NemophilaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual. Stem: simple to branched, prostrate to erect, fleshy, brittle, angled or winged, glabrous to generally bristly (prickly). Leaf: cauline, lower generally opposite, upper opposite or alternate, generally reduced; petiole generally bristly-ciliate; blade pinnate-toothed or -lobed, generally bristly. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in leaf axils or opposite leaves; pedicels longer in fruit, recurved. Flower: calyx bell-shaped to rotate, sinuses generally with spreading or reflexed appendages; corolla bell-shaped to rotate, white, blue, or purple, spotted or marked or not; stamens included; ovary chamber 1, style 1, generally 1/3--1/2 forked. Fruit: generally 2--7 mm wide, spheric to ovoid, hairy, generally enclosed by calyx. Seed: ovoid, smooth, wrinkled or pitted, with a conic, colorless appendage at 1 end.
Species In Genus: 11 species: southeastern United States, western North America. Etymology: (Greek: woodland-loving)
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert Patterson & Richard R. Halse
Unabridged Reference: Constance 1941 Univ CA Publ Bot 19:341--398
Nemophila heterophylla Fisch. & C.A. Mey.
Leaf: lower opposite, 1--4 cm, blade = petiole, oblong to ovate, lobes 5--7, deep, generally round, stalked, generally well separated, entire to 1--3-toothed; upper alternate, +- sessile, blade lanceolate to ovate, lobes 0 or 3--5, entire. Inflorescence: pedicels < 10 mm, < 60 mm in fruit. Flower: calyx lobes 2--4 mm, appendages < 1 mm in fruit; corolla 3--10 mm, 4--12 mm wide, bowl-shaped, white or +- blue, tube = filaments; anthers < 1 mm; style 2--4 mm. Seed: 2--5, yellow-brown, smooth or roughened. Chromosomes: n=9.
Ecology: Forest, chaparral, roadsides, slopes, streambanks, talus; Elevation: 30--1700 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, SN, GV, CW; Distribution Outside California: Oregon. Flowering Time: Feb--Jun
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert Patterson & Richard R. Halse
Unabridged Reference: Constance 1941 Univ CA Publ Bot 19:341--398
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Botanical illustration including Nemophila heterophylla

botanical illustration including Nemophila heterophylla


Citation for this treatment: Robert Patterson & Richard R. Halse 2012, Nemophila heterophylla, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 24, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 24, 2019.

Nemophila heterophylla
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell
Nemophila heterophylla
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Nemophila heterophylla
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© 2014 California Academy of Sciences
Nemophila heterophylla
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© 2008 George W. Hartwell
Nemophila heterophylla
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Nemophila heterophylla
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© 2010 Neal Kramer

More photos of Nemophila heterophylla in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Nemophila heterophylla:
NW, CaR, SN, GV, CW;
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
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.