Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

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
Habit: Perennial or biennial herb, generally erect or decumbent. Stem: branches generally ascending to erect, hairy. Leaf: generally sessile; mostly in basal rosette, cauline alternate, distal reduced. Inflorescence: generally terminal, raceme- or panicle-like cymes, often densely clustered; bracts present or absent. Flower: generally persistent; sepals not fused; corolla tube 2--13 mm, limb 3--12 mm diam, white or yellow, appendages 5, yellow. Fruit: pedicel 0--12 mm in fruit; nutlets 1--4, lanceolate to wide-ovate, triangular, or elliptic, strongly bowed in profile in some, tip generally rounded, generally gray to brown, smooth, wrinkled (rugose), tubercled, or papillate, cross-ridged in some, with abaxial, longitudinal ridge present or not; margin rounded sharp-angled, or flat-rimmed; adaxially grooved above attachment scar, groove ending well below nutlet tip, edges gapped or abutted to +- overlapped, raised or not, generally forked or flared open at base; central fruit axis ("axis") extending to or beyond fruit.
Species In Genus: +- 66 species (more being described): western North America. Etymology: (Greek: mountain nut) Note: Generally homostylous, some spp. heterostylous. Segregated from Cryptantha based on molecular phylogenetic studies (Hasenstab-Lehman & Simpson 2012; Ripma et al. 2014; Simpson et al. 2017) and morphology, including perennial or biennial habit, relatively large nutlet size, and nutlet adaxial groove ending well below nutlet tip.
Jepson eFlora Author: Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Ronald B. Kelley, & Michael G. Simpson
Unabridged Reference: Johnston 1925 Contr Gray Herbarium 74:1--125; Payson 1927 Annals Missouri Bot. Gard. 14:211--358; Higgins 1971 Brigham Young Sci Bull Biol Ser 13:1--63, 1979 Great Basin Naturalist 39:293--350; Simpson & Hasenstab 2009 Crossosoma 35:1--59; Hasenstab-Lehman & Simpson 2012 Syst Bot 37:738--757; Ripma et al. 2014 Appl Plant Sci 2(12):1400062; Simpson et al. 2017 Taxon 66:1406--1420.
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
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Citation for this treatment: Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Ronald B. Kelley, & Michael G. Simpson 2021, Oreocarya, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 9,, accessed on June 21, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 21, 2024.