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. 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
Stem: glabrous or soft- to bristly-hairy. Leaf: lower cut or lobes shallow, dissimilar, merging or not stalked; upper opposite or alternate. Inflorescence: pedicels 2--15 mm, < 30 mm in fruit. Flower: calyx lobes 1--3 mm, appendages < 1 mm in fruit; corolla 2--4 mm, 1--5 mm wide, bell-shaped, white or blue, tube >= filaments; style < 2 mm. Seed: 2--4, yellow to brick-red, smooth but shallow-pitted. Chromosomes: n=9.