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.
Habit: Annual to perennial herb, generally glandular-hairy, taprooted or from +- thick caudex. Leaf: generally cauline, generally alternate, simple to 2-pinnately compound, generally +- reduced upward. Inflorescence: cyme, generally dense, coiled, generally 1-sided; pedicels generally <= 5 mm, generally straight. Flower: sepals generally 5, generally fused at base, generally equal, generally +- alike, generally persistent, enlarging in fruit; corolla generally deciduous, at least some persistent and withering in fruit in some species, rotate to tubular or bell- or funnel-shaped, +- white, blue, purple, pink or yellow, tube and throat not always clearly differentiated, generally glabrous inside, scales of tube base 0 or free from or fused to filament bases, generally white, nectary gland on petal midvein generally 0, each petal with generally 0, sometimes 2--many translucent areas, 2 or 4 of which parallel; stamens generally attached at same level, generally equal, generally exserted, bases generally not wider, with 2 or generally 0 wings, filaments generally white, pollen generally tan; ovary chamber 1, sometimes appearing as 2 due to intrusion of the 2 placentas, placentas parietal, enlarging and meeting in fruit, style 2-lobed, generally hairy proximal to lobes, disk proximal to ovary generally inconspicuous. Fruit: capsule, oblong to spheric, generally rounded at base, generally beaked. Seed: 1--many (number sometimes due to ovule abortion), oblong to spheric, generally brown; abaxially generally pitted or cross-furrowed.
Species In Genus: +- 210 species: America; some cultivated for ornamental. Etymology: (Greek: cluster, from dense inflorescence) Toxicity: Dermatitis caused by contact with hairs, especially glandular, of P. campanularia, P. crenulata, P. ixodes, P. minor, P. parryi, P. pedicellata (Reynolds et al. 1986 Contact Dermatitis 14:39--44). Note: Some California per species intergrade, hybridize, difficult to distinguish. Phacelia ixodes Kellogg, included in TJM (1993), not known from California. Since TJM2, Phacelia dalesiana J.T. Howell transferred to Howellanthus as Howellanthus dalesianus (J.T. Howell) Walden & R. Patt. Regarding indument in this treatment: minute (for e.g., puberulent) < 0.2 mm; short = 0.2--2 mm; long > 2 mm.
eFlora Treatment Author: Genevieve K. Walden, Robert Patterson, Laura M. Garrison & Debra R. Hansen