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.
Common Name: PECTOCARYA, COMBSEED
Habit: Annual. Stem: 2--40 cm, strigose, breaking at nodes or not. Leaf: generally alternate, generally 0.5--4 cm, +- linear, strigose to sharp-bristled. Inflorescence: bracted or not; pedicel in fruit generally free from nutlets, generally recurved. Flower: basal cleistogamous flowers generally 0; calyx generally < fruit, lobes free, not arched over 1 nutlet, with hooked or straight prickles, in fruit +- equal or, if unequal, upper 2 > others; corolla funnel-shaped, white, limb 0.5--2.5 mm diam, appendages white or yellow; style attached to receptacle, unbranched, generally persistent, stigma 1, head-like. Fruit: nutlets generally 4, generally paired, often dissimilar in shape, ornamentation, margin width, spreading, 1--4.5 mm, generally compressed, marginal prickles straight or hooked at tip.
Species In Genus: 15 species: to British Columbia, Wyoming, Texas, northwestern Mexico; South America. Etymology: (Greek: comb nut, from bristly to dentate nutlet margins of some species) Note: Nutlets of basal, cleistogamous flowers (present in Pectocarya heterocarpa, Pectocarya peninsularis) unusual, not to be used in key.
Unabridged Note: Flowers generally of 1 kind with observable white corolla occurring on the cauline inflorescence sections, except for Pectocarya heterocarpa, Pectocarya peninsularis, which also produce cleistogamous flowers, without an observable corolla, that occur at stem bases and produce nutlet shapes not represented in the diagnostic key.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley