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: Annual, sometimes appearing perennial. Stem: branches erect to decumbent, hairy, sometimes stout and woody at base. Leaf: cauline only, alternate, sessile, linear to elliptic, hairy. Inflorescence: terminal, of raceme- or spike-like cymes, in groups of 1--2, basal bracts in some. Flower: bracts present or 0; sepals free to base; corolla limb 0.5--4 mm diam, white, appendages generally 5, yellow. Fruit: pedicel 0--4(--6) mm in fruit; nutlets (3)4, similar or dissimilar, if dissimilar single different nutlet positioned away from inflorescence axis, nutlets smooth to white-tubercled, margin rounded, sharp-edged, or a +- flat rim or wing; abaxial ridge 0; adaxially grooved above attachment scar, scar generally lateral, narrow, open to closed, generally forked or flared open at base; style generally extended beyond nutlets.
Species In Genus: +- 16 species: western North America, western and southern South America. Etymology: (Ivan M. Johnston, American botanist, 1898--1960) Note: A segregate of Cryptantha, Johnstonella is strongly supported as a separate lineage by molecular phylogenetic studies (Hasenstab-Lehman & Simpson 2012; Simpson et al. 2017).
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael G. Simpson, Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman & Ronald B. Kelley
Reference: Johnston 1925 Contr Gray Herbarium 74:1--125; Simpson & Hasenstab 2009 Crossosoma 35:1--59; Hasenstab-Lehman & Simpson 2012 Syst Bot 37:738--757; Simpson et al. 2014 Taxon 63:930--931; Simpson et al. 2017 Taxon 66:1406--1420; Simpson et al. 2019 Phytotaxa 425:279--289; Simpson et al. 2020 Madroño 67:5--8.
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Key to Johnstonella

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Citation for this treatment: Michael G. Simpson, Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman & Ronald B. Kelley 2021, Johnstonella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 9,, accessed on January 29, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on January 29, 2023.