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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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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 and Ronald B. Kelley

Perennial; root thick, carrot-like
Stems ascending to erect
Leaves generally cauline; lower petioled; upper short-petioled to sessile; blade lanceolate to ovate
Inflorescence terminal or axillary, generally peduncled, coiled in flower
Flower: calyx deeply lobed, bristly; corolla bell-shaped to ± urn-shaped, throat appendages 5, ± = stamens, papillate, alternating with stamens; stamens inserted on upper tube; style exserted
Fruit: nutlets 1–4, ovoid; tip ± incurved, scar at base ± flat with thick, ring-like, minutely toothed rim
Species in genus: 35 species: Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: growing together, from putative healing properties)
Reference: [Gadella 1984 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 71:1061–1067]
Orn, folk medicine, cultivated for forage.


S. officinale L.

Stem 5–10 dm, simple to branched, sharp-bristly
Leaf 5–30 cm, bristly
Flower: calyx 3–6 mm in flower, lobes lanceolate in flower, ± triangular in fruit; corolla generally red to purple, throat appendages lanceolate
Fruit: nutlets 4–5 mm, ± 3 mm wide, black, shiny
Chromosomes: 2n=40
Ecology: Waste places, fields
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area, expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: to Canada, e US; native to Europe

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