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Vascular Plants of California
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Echium


Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BORAGE FAMILY
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, or shrub, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate-decumbent to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, simple, generally alternate, sometimes opposite, especially at base. Inflorescence: cymes, arranged singly or in groups of 2--5, generally coiled in flower, generally elongating in fruit. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 5, free or fused at least at base; corolla 5-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, appendages (often called "fornices") 0 or 5 at top of tube, when present often differentially pigmented, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary superior, 4-lobed, style 1, entire or minutely 2-lobed (2-branched). Fruit: nutlets 1--4, when > 1, all similar (often called "homomorphic") or 1 or 2 dissimilar in size and/or shape from the others (often called "heteromorphic"), free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
Genera In Family: +- 90 genera, +- 1600--1700 species: mostly temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Echium, Myosotis, Symphytum). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Sometimes still treated in broader sense of TJM2 (e.g., APG IV 2016 Bot J Linn Soc 181:1--20), but recent evidence (Luebert et al. 2016) supports segregation, for our flora, of the families Ehretiaceae, Heliotropiaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae, and Namaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael G. Simpson, C. Matt Guilliams, Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman & Ronald B. Kelley
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, C. Matt Guilliams, Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman, David J. Keil, Ronald B. Kelley, Robert W. Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti & Michael G. Simpson
Echium
Habit: Annual, biennial, [perennial herb], shrub; strigose to bristly-hairy. Leaf: basal and cauline, linear to lanceolate, entire. Inflorescence: panicle-like cymes, terminal; branches 3--many, +- spike-like. Flower: radial to +- bilateral; calyx deep-lobed, often longer in fruit; corolla throat straight or +- curved, lobes equal or not; stamens 5, attached below mid-tube, included or exserted; style exserted. Fruit: nutlet erect, short, ovate, 3-angled, scar basal, flat.
Species In Genus: 40 species: southern Eurasia, Africa. Etymology: (Greek: viper, from nutlet shaped like viper's head) Note: Several entities cultivated for ornament, especially on California coast, some potentially naturalized, some may be hybrids.
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald B. Kelley
Unabridged Reference: Bramwell 1972 Lagascalia 2:37--115
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Key to Echium

Previous taxon: Cynoglossum officinale
Next taxon: Echium candicans

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley 2012, Echium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=10468, accessed on June 29, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora, https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on June 29, 2022.