Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Annual, perennial herb, shrubs, generally bristly or sharply hairy
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves cauline, often with basal rosette, generally simple, alternate; lower sometimes opposite, entire
Inflorescence: cyme, generally elongate, panicle-, raceme- or spike-like, coiled in flower, generally uncoiled in fruit or flowers 1–2 per axil
Flowers generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 5, free or fused in lower half; corolla 5-lobed, generally salverform, top of tube generally appendaged, appendages 5, alternating with stamens, sometimes arching over tube; stamens 5, epipetalous; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed, style generally entire
Fruit: nutlets 1–4, smooth to variously roughened, sometimes prickly or bristled
Genera in family: ± 100 genera, ± 2000 species: tropical, temp, especially w North America, Medit; some cultivated (Borago, Echium, Myosotis, Symphytum ). Almost all genera may be TOXIC from alkaloids or accumulated nitrates
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae [Olmsted et al. 2000 Mol Phylog Evol 16:96–112]
Family description, key to genera by Timothy C. Messick.



Dieter H. Wilken

Annual, perennial herb; hairs bristly to strigose, bases sometimes bulbous
Stem ± erect
Leaves basal and cauline, petioled to clasping; blades oblong to oblanceolate
Inflorescence axillary or terminal, generally spike-like; tip coiled in flower
Flower: corolla generally salverform, white to red or blue, throat appendages 5, ovate to oblong, ± puberulent; stamens included to exserted
Fruit: nutlets 1–4, erect, ± ovoid, irregularly angled or wrinkled, scar basal or oblique, rim of scar thickened, ring-like
Species in genus: ± 35 species: Eurasia, Africa. Orn, cultivated for drugs, dyes
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name for alkanet)
Reference: [Greuter 1965 Candollea 20:192–210]


A. arvensis (L.) M. Bieb.

Annual, bristly; hair base bulbous
Stem 5–9 dm
Leaves: upper 10–20 mm wide, oblong to ovate
Flower: calyx 4–5 mm in flower, 8–10 mm in fruit, lobes acuminate; corolla tube 4–7 mm, limb 4–6 mm wide, lobes unequal, blue; stamens inserted below mid tube, included
Fruit: nutlets 2–3 mm, base 3–4 mm wide, tip erect, scar ± oblique
Chromosomes: 2n=48
Ecology: Uncommon as waif. Disturbed areas
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: n Sierra Nevada Foothills, c South Coast, San Gabriel Mountains
Distribution outside California: widespread US; native to Europe
Synonyms: Lycopsis a. L

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