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Symphytum
COMFREY

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

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.

Symphytum
Habit: Perennial herb; root thick, carrot-like. Stem: ascending to erect, internodes winged or not, sharp-bristly. Leaf: generally cauline, sharp-bristly; lower petioled; upper short-petioled to sessile; blade lanceolate to ovate, base decurrent or not. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary, generally peduncled, coiled. Flower: calyx deep-lobed, bristly, expanded in fruit; corolla bell- to +- urn-shaped, throat expanded above tube, appendages 5, alternate stamens, at same level at anthers, lance-linear to lanceolate [or not], papillate; stamens attached on upper tube; style exserted. Fruit: nutlets 1--4, ovoid; tip +- incurved; scar at base, +- flat with thick, ring-like, minute-toothed rim.
Species In Genus: 35 species: Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: growing together, from putative healing properties) Toxicity: Seeds, herbage TOXIC to humans, livestock from pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Note: Ornamental, folk medicine, cultivated for forage.
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
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Key to Symphytum

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley 2016. Symphytum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=8767, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on April 29, 2016.