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Vascular Plants of California
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Borago officinalis


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.
Genus: BoragoView Description 


Common Name: BORAGE
Habit: Annual [perennial herb], bristly to rough-hairy. Stem: ascending to erect. Leaf: cauline, +- petioled, ovate to oblanceolate, entire. Inflorescence: cymes, terminal, 2--3-flowered; pedicels +- spreading to pendent in fruit. Flower: calyx deep-5-lobed; corolla rotate to bell-shaped, lobes spreading, throat appendages erect, glabrous; stamens exserted, filament base dilated, anthers adherent around style, separating in age. Fruit: nutlets +- erect, 4, stout, obovoid, irregularly tubercled, exposed stipe-like basal attachment scar, rim of attachment scar thickened.
Species In Genus: 4 species: southern Europe, northern Africa. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley
Borago officinalis L.
NATURALIZED
Habit: Generally branching above; taprooted. Stem: 2--7 dm. Leaf: lower blades 8--20 cm, 3--8 cm wide. Flower: calyx lobes 8--10 mm, 10--15 mm in fruit, linear; corolla rotate, bright blue, limb 18--20 mm diam; anthers 5--8 mm, dark brown. Fruit: nutlets 5--7 mm, +- oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=16.
Ecology: Open, disturbed sites; Elevation: < 550 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo, SnFrB, SCo; Distribution Outside California: widespread United States; native to southern Europe. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: Ornamental, cultivated for bees (nectar source), potherb.
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald B. Kelley
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Borago officinalis

botanical illustration including Borago officinalis

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley 2012, Borago officinalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=15875, accessed on May 14, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora, https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on May 14, 2021.

Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Borago officinalis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Borago officinalis in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Borago officinalis:
CCo, SnFrB, SCo
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).