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, fleshy. Stem: prostrate or reclined, many-branched, brittle; angles +- glabrous, bristly, or generally with hooked prickles. Leaf: cauline, lower opposite, upper alternate; petioles generally winged, clasping; blade pinnate-lobed, uppermost reduced, short-petioled, generally deltate, 3-lobed, with small, sharp bristles both surfaces. Inflorescence: terminal, axillary, opposite leaves, or flowers 1; pedicels present. Flower: calyx lobes hairy, bristly-ciliate; corolla rotate, lobes +- = tube, generally hairy; stamens included, equal, equally attached; ovary bristly-hairy, chamber appearing 1, style 1, 2-lobed in distal 1/2. Fruit: capsule, spheric, stout-bristly-hairy. Seed: 1--8, spheric, brown, pitted or honeycombed.
Species In Genus: 3 species: California, Arizona, Baja California. Etymology: (Greek: scale mouth)
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert Patterson & Richard R. Halse
Stem: 2--12 dm. Leaf: petiole wide-winged, clasping; lower leaves 4--16 cm, 1--8 cm wide, blade oblong to lance-ovate, base cordate, tip acuminate, lobes 5--13, oblong or lanceolate, obtuse or acute, entire or 1--5-toothed. Inflorescence: flowers 1 or 2--6 in cymes; pedicels 1--3 cm. Flower: calyx lobes 3--9 mm, +- lanceolate, sinus appendages 1--4 mm; corolla 3--15 mm, 5--30 mm wide, blue to purple with darker marks in throat; style 4--8 mm. Fruit: 5--10 mm wide, enclosed in calyx. Seed: 1--4.